Organization: MEND (Meeting Each Need with Dignity)
Activity: Tax Assistance
Ben Franklin once said, “nothing’s certain except death and taxes.” How true and I don’t really like the thought of either!
I don’t think any of us like taxes, but they are a reality. Yet, filing taxes can be complicated, confusing and often just plain overwhelming, which causes many people to pay too much in taxes, which isn’t right. So, if a college-educated, upper middle class guy like me thinks filing is a challenge, imagine how hard it would be for a low income, minimally educated, non-english speaking person to file. Something I had never really thought about, until today.
I spent my day helping folks get ready for free tax preparation. It was not a hard task, but one that really made a difference for these folks. But, beyond what I actually did, two things really stuck out for me today.
First, as I helped people get ready for their meeting with volunteer tax preparers, I reviewed their paperwork, which included income statements. While I won’t get into specifics, I will just say it was very humbling to truly see what many people survive on — I quite honestly don’t know how they are able to make ends meet. I certainly looked at my tax documents in a different way and will shut my mouth the next time I go to complain about certain things.
Second, I love the name of the organization I helped today — Meeting Each Need with Dignity. Isn’t that what all service should be about? Actually, what all humanity should be about. They are simple words that I will keep with me as I continue serving others and I hope you will too. No matter who we are, what our beliefs or politics are, how much or how little we have, we all deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.
Please check it out and encourage your friends and family to have a look too.