Last year 3,000 families got help with their taxes through the Coalition of Community Assistance Volunteers – and the organization gets a lot of help to do that job from Lubbock National Bank.
CCAV started helping low-to-moderate income individuals with their taxes the third week of January with their taxes and will continue to do the work at their 5601 S. Avenue Q offices in Lubbock through April 18. Randy Laycock, LNB senior vice president, who has volunteered with CCAV for more than a decade, is one of a dozen or so LNB employees who donate their time to help people complete their taxes.
In addition, the bank has been CCAV’s lead sponsor the past half-dozen years. “Lubbock National Bank has been a major sponsor of our tax program for many years and without their help, our ability to help people would be diminished,” said Shari Flynn, CCAV treasurer.
Randy first got involved when he saw an announcement asking for help.
He had been an accounting major before starting his long career with LNB and thought it was a great way to keep up on tax changes.
So he volunteered.
More than ten years later, he has stories:
One lady had only been in the U.S. a few years from Italy. She got a little refund, but was so thankful for that, she cried.
A working grandmother who was raising her grandkids found out she’d get a refund. She told her grandkids they would save it all – but she would take them out for ice cream. “She was teaching them a good lesson about not spending it all,” said Randy.
“We have people who cry and thank us and are very appreciative. Some say ‘Your bank lets you off to do this?’ It’s a good feeling to help people so they don’t have to spend $200 to $300 to do taxes so they can use that money to pay bills and feed children. It’s a great service to our community,” he said.
Now he’s a site coordinator, who does a second check on documents after they are done by a tax preparer before they file electronically.
“We make sure they get all the refund they’re entitled to legally under IRS standards and that money stays in Lubbock and is spent in our community,” said Randy.
Randy figures he donates about 130 hours filling multiple shifts during tax season and with other LNB employees helping, the bank donates around a total of 350 hours each year.
“Management gives bank volunteers time off and arranges their schedule so they can get away to help,” said Randy.
A lot of Texas Tech University students also volunteer.
CCAV always needs volunteers.
“Sometimes we have to turn people away on a day, but generally we see everyone during tax season,” said Randy.
He said most people can help.
Volunteers go through an IRS online program.
“Every year I have to test and pass at a certain level of certification,” said Randy. “But we also need greeters,” he added.
Since 2002, CCAV has done 37,000 tax returns, said Randy.
CCAV also offers workshops on budgeting and counseling for home ownership or working toward it.
For more information: https://www.facebook.com/CcavLubbock/