Tax volunteers who live outside of LW keep coming back for the people
by Diana Lambert
GAF Income Tax Chair
Editor’s note: The last names in this article are protected due to AARP policies.
The Golden Age Foundation (GAF) has helped people prepare their tax returns for over 45 years in Leisure World. Currently, the program is sponsored by AARP Tax Aide. In addition to the Leisure World volunteers, some volunteers live outside the Leisure World gates. Here are three of their stories: Ed H. has prepared taxes in Leisure World for three years. He responded to a flyer inside the monthly AARP magazine after he retired. He filled out an AARP volunteer questionnaire. After being contacted, he volunteered to prepare tax returns and the rest is history.
Ed was familiar with Leisure World because his wonderful, loving and caring in-laws lived here. His mother-in-law, Claire Hecht, previously volunteered in the LW Friends of the Library Book Store. Ed volunteers at multiple AARP sites, but especially loves working at Leisure World because he feels the residents need the help. He enjoys meeting them and preparing their tax returns.
Marilyn L. has prepared tax returns for five years. While shopping at Ralph’s, she met a former co-worker who was coordinating the tax program. She had recently retired and had been thinking about what kind of volunteer work she should pursue. She felt that this would be a great place to use her accounting background and it would be a great team to join.
“The IRS has always held a frightening place in so many peoples’ minds that it’s nice to put them at ease by preparing their tax returns.” Marilyn said. “Even people who owe taxes are so appreciative to get this onerous task taken care of. The rewards are many but the best one is the people I meet. Back in the day when we met face to face, it was always a pleasure to chat with people as I prepared their returns. You meet the most interesting people in LW with lots of interesting backgrounds.”
Kim N. has been a tax volunteer for 15 years. She worked in Fountain Valley, Costa Mesa, and Leisure World Seal Beach. She volunteered to help people and socialize with other volunteers and clients. She has enjoyed helping others.
This filing season was an especially challenging time. Over 500 residents benefitted from the dedication and efforts of all the volunteers, who selflessly gave their time to help taxpayers..