Insights > From Tax Prep to Tech Teams, Triplett’s Volunteer Services Are in Demand
From Tax Prep to Tech Teams, Triplett’s Volunteer Services Are in Demand
"We're all part of the communities in which we live and work, and volunteering is a great way to make a difference in a way that can be seen and felt," said Entergy Arkansas employee David Triplett. "It's immensely rewarding to work with these programs and see the positive impact they have on others."
And Triplett would know. When he's not tied up in his day job as manager of Entergy Arkansas’ power generation environmental support office, he's often found volunteering at one of two organizations.
In 2015, Triplett answered the call when Entergy Arkansas asked for volunteers at Super Tax Day, where low-income Arkansans can get their taxes done for free. Since then he's gotten more involved with the Central Arkansas Development Council, volunteering 40-60 hours a year as a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance site coordinator and tax preparer.
"I found that my familiarity with deciphering environmental regulations in my Entergy job was a useful skill for preparing income taxes. The individuals we assist through this program are usually grateful for the help, and it is a rewarding way to give back to the community," he said.
The other beneficiary of Triplett's time and talents is Destination Imagination, Inc., a competition for elementary and high school students that requires creative problem-solving. Triplett got involved eight years ago when his son, then a fourth grader, participated. In DI, teams of two to seven students spend a year developing solutions to challenges in the areas of technical, science, fine arts, improvisation, engineering and service learning. Teams present their solutions at regional, state and, if they're really good, global tournaments.
"This year I am volunteering as a team manager for a technical challenge team from Little Rock Central High and a fine-arts team from Mann Middle School,” Triplett said. “I typically spend 80-150 hours per year volunteering through this program."
Thought about volunteering, but not sure? "From my experience, these organizations are always thrilled to have a new volunteer," Triplett said. "Find something that interests you and just take the plunge and get involved. It's a great way to make some new connections in the community while helping to give back."
While the "giving back" usually refers to time, with Entergy's Community Connectors program, it also means money. Here's the deal: For every 20 hours of volunteer service an employee logs into the Community Connectors website, the company will donate $250 (up to $750 per year) to the non-profit of the employee's choice. Triplett's VITA work gets a bonus donation of $500 for every 20 hours volunteered.
"In the past I have made donations to organizations which fund assistance to the homeless, breast cancer research, youth enrichment organizations and local schools," Triplett said. "For my volunteering in 2018, I was able to request a total of $2,000 in grants through these programs."
Triplett and his wife, Jennifer, are raising a couple of volunteers of their own: their children Sam, 17, and Lucy, 13.
"Like any parent, I hope to set a good example, and I think volunteering is one way I can do that,” he said. “I've been proud to see them both take the initiative to volunteer their own time, independently from my own volunteering."