By Mary Levtzow
Making a difference in one’s community has always been a priority for all the dedicated individuals that volunteer each year with the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program. As one can envision, this special volunteer program started in 1968 with four volunteers at one site serving 100 taxpayers. Today, this AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program utilizes 35,000 volunteers at 6,000 sites across America helping 2.6 million taxpayers. This program is the nation’s largest volunteer tax preparation assistance service under a cooperative agreement with the IRS. These dedicated individuals are IRS certified volunteers that have been trained and IRS tested. This free, individualized no strings attached program was designed to work with low to moderate income taxpayers, especially people 60 and older.
Westlake Village, a Brookdale Senior Living Community, at 28550 Westlake Village Drive in Westlake is thrilled at having three trained and tested AARP Foundation Tax-Aide volunteers. Local Westlake Village Site Coordinator is retired Union Carbide engineer Earle McGraw who set up this site in 2002 and has been an AARP Foundation Tax-Aide volunteer for 21 years. Every Tuesday during the tax season from February to April 15, he and his team assist Westlake Village Community members and others starting at 11 a.m. Earle enjoys this AARP Program because it provides him the great “satisfaction of helping people.” The training and IRS testing every year is very thorough. This tax year got off to a slow start waiting for Congress to complete some legislation before all the forms could be readied.
Earle’s AARP Foundation Tax-Aide team members are Counselor Steve Ersek with 25 years of volunteer service and Data Entry/Computer Operator Eleanor Joseph with 3 years of volunteering experience. One could not ask for a better team of tax consultants to quietly help one handle new forms and proper filing. These three volunteers along with this AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program deserve accolades and praise for meeting essential community needs. One can check out aarp.org/taxaide or call 1-888-227-7669 to find a nearby site throughout Cuyahoga County. Appointments are required at each of the local sites.
After one’s AARP Foundation Tax-Aide appointment at Westlake Village, one could take a tour of the Westlake Village campus with its Optimum Life approach that covers the entire spectrum of life’s journey with Exceptional Independent Living, Personalized Assisted Living, Skilled Nursing Care and additional Supportive Services for seniors. The superior and caring staff is available 24 hours a day to meet one’s short-term or long-term professional rehabilitative needs with respect, innovation and choice. Please call Marketing Director Susan Uranker at 440- 892-4200 to make arrangements for a Westlake Village Tour.
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