Valerie is the kind of person who lights up a room. Her smile and positive attitude is infectious to anyone around her.
Born prematurely, Valerie has been fighting to overcome obstacles since the beginning. Due to academic challenges she had to alter her dream of becoming a doctor. But she loves to help people and has worked various jobs over the years, including as a caregiver for adults, Citiparks pool monitor, and maintenance at Heinz Hall.
In 2009, Valerie was hit by a car. The injuries she sustained ended her job in heavy maintenance. Now that she is retired, she enjoys volunteering and finding other ways to help people.
Valerie has been coming to Just Harvest for two years to have her taxes done. In the past she was going to H&R Block and paying $400 out of pocket and not getting a refund.
“I was a little pissed,” shares Valerie. Once she heard about Just Harvest, she wished she could get that money back.
“My tax preparer, Marissa, has been doing my taxes for the last two years and does an excellent job. I would recommend Just Harvest for getting your taxes done.” She loves Marissa and says, “she is so good at it. She’s really nice, fast and kind!” This year she came with her adult son, who also filed his taxes through Just Harvest.
When asked why the free tax service is important to the community, Valerie shares that “Number one, it’s free and it will help people who work but don’t have the money to pay places like H&R Block to get them done. Folks on SSI who may not get a refund don’t want to pay a bunch of money to have their taxes done.”
She also says it’s important for young folks because they might be eligible to get a lot of money back. “Young people often don’t have great jobs, working at minimum wage jobs and not making a lot of money. But getting a tax refund is an important way for them to get a lot of money back.”
Valerie is a proud mother of three boys, who have all grown up and moved out. The oldest works at PNC Park, the middle as a trainer at McDonalds, and her youngest is serving in the military in Japan.