On this 18th day of April, also known as tax day, I wanted to express my sincerest gratitude and a heartfelt "Thank You" to all of you for making this year another tremendous success for our tax assistance program at St. Francis of Assisi. Your efforts this year helped to return over $129,000 in tax refunds to our 102 or so clients in the greater Ann Arbor area! This mean so much to our community and to those who take advantage of this program. Programs like this cannot run without the commitment that each of you give and you are all to be commended for your efforts! I am so proud to know all of you and to have spent this time with you.
As you are aware, tax refunds act as a stimulus to the economy. Many people use them to buy larger ticket items and local businesses look forward to this time of the year. Many of our clients will hopefully be able to use these refunds to pay for rent, utility bills, education or perhaps save some money for the future. Many people who take advantage of tax assistance programs cannot afford quality tax preparation services and would most likely not file taxes and therefore would not take advantage of the various tax credits such as the Earned Income Credit and Home Heating Credit that they may be eligible for. Because of you, they are able to receive quality tax preparation and get the much needed refunds as well as peace of mind that they will not have to worry about trying to figure out how to prepare their own returns.
I'm always inspired by those people who come to take advantage of our program. I've watched them come in year after year. I've seen some of them finish their degrees, I've seen their children grow, and I've seen them battle adversity. Through all of this, they have continued to work hard and to persevere. They are truly grateful for your efforts. They, and all of you, are why I continue to be involved in this program. I hope you feel the same.
This year we welcomed some new volunteers to our program: Larry, Daryl, Kathy, Kevin and our amazing Korean War veteran John. I hope you enjoyed your time in the program as much as I enjoyed meeting and working with you. I also hope that you will consider volunteering again next year.
We also welcomed back several volunteers to the program: Deisy, Julie, Gary and John. I'm so glad that you were able to come back this year. Your previous experience made managing the program so much easier!
Of course this program could not function without the support of the parish staff, especially Scott Wright who is the director of the Social Ministry and oversees my efforts, Jim Russo who makes sure the computers are set up to run the tax software, the parish staff who give up their offices on Saturdays for us, the staff and volunteers who setup and confirm the appointments, the Saturday office volunteers who make sure that everyone gets signed in and fills out the questionnaires, and Fr. James and Fr. Shaun who fully support the program.
Thank you once again for all of your work. Stay in touch and I hope to see you all soon!
Have a great year!!!
Julie M. Soyer
Senior Project Accountant