Notre Dame Col­lege stu­dents give back

The News Herald (Willoughby, OH) - - Front Page - By Tawana Roberts troberts@news-her­ @TawanaRobert­sNH on Twit­ter

A group of Notre Dame Col­lege stu­dents re­cently ded­i­cated their spring break to help­ing oth­ers. Stu­dents with vary­ing ma­jors spent a week work­ing with Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity in Birm­ing­ham, Alabama.

This was the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive year that Notre Dame ju­niors Anna Benko and Sarah Tol­son took the trip.

“For spring break we could be do­ing a lot of other things, but you don’t think of it as hard work,” Benko said. “It can be ex­haust­ing, but you are do­ing it for other peo­ple and for a good cause.”

Through­out the spring break im­mer­sion, the Notre Dame group as­sisted Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity in new home con­struc­tion and house re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion for low-in­come res­i­dents. Birm­ing­ham is Alabama’s largest city and con­sid­ered one of the poor­est ur­ban ar­eas in the U.S., with about 29 per­cent of its pop­u­la­tion liv­ing in poverty. That is nearly dou­ble the 15 per­cent poverty rate for most mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties in the coun­try, ac­cord­ing to the news re­lease.

The Notre Dame stu­dents and staff work about seven hours each week­day on tasks that ranged from caulk­ing to roof­ing to in­stalling win­dows and doors, and even adding in­su­la­tion, the re­lease also states.

“It’s a good op­por­tu­nity to get away from what is known and to see a dif­fer­ent re­al­ity, to look at dif­fer­ent per­spec­tives on life,” Tol­son said.

“You learn to fo­cus not on dif­fer­ences, but on com­mon­al­i­ties, just treat­ing peo­ple as peo­ple.” —Notre Dame Col­lege junior Sarah Tol­son

“You learn to fo­cus not on dif­fer­ences, but on com­mon­al­i­ties, just treat­ing peo­ple as peo­ple.”

Mean­while back at the col­lege in South Eu­clid, some Notre Dame ac­count­ing ma­jors are of­fer­ing free tax prepa­ra­tion to res­i­dents in need.

These un­der­grad­u­ate stu­dents op­er­ate the free ser­vice cen­ter on cam­pus, vol­un­tar­ily fil­ing fed­eral and state in­come tax forms for low-in­come in­di­vid­u­als and fam­i­lies.

The stu­dents, who have been trained and cer­ti­fied by the In­ter­nal Rev­enue Ser­vice, op­er­ate the tax prepa­ra­tion cen­ter in

the Col­lege’s Regina Hall Room 202. The ser­vice cen­ter will be open through­out the tax sea­son, the re­lease said.

Ser­vices are avail­able from 2:30-5:30 p.m. ev­ery Tues­day and Thurs­day and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Satur­day. The cen­ter will be closed March 29 and 30.

To be el­i­gi­ble for the free ser­vice, tax­pay­ers must have a qual­i­fy­ing in­come that ranges based on house­hold size.

Clients must make an ap­point­ment to have their taxes pre­pared by call­ing United Way’s 2-1-1 First Call for Help, which is a na­tion­wide phone number to dial for as­sis­tance with health and hu­man ser­vices. Ca­pac­ity lim­its at the site are dic­tated by the number of stu­dents of­fer­ing

their ser­vices.

Par­tic­i­pants must bring a cur­rent photo iden­ti­fi­ca­tion; Social Se­cu­rity cards for each adult and child listed on the re­turn; all tax doc­u­ments, in­clud­ing sources of in­come like W-2 and 1099 forms, for the fil­ing year; sup­port for any de­duc­tions and cred­its sought; health care ver­i­fi­ca­tion; the prior year’s tax re­turns and bank ac­count and rout­ing num­bers to ar­range di­rect de­posit of any re­fund.

Those fil­ing jointly must both be present for forms to be pro­cessed elec­tron­i­cally.

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