The Tax Season has just concluded at LUM, which means we once again say farewell to several familiar faces who since January have offered assistance to individuals in our community to complete their federal, state and county income tax returns — the LUM volunteer tax preparers with the LUM Tax Assistance Program or VITA (volunteer income tax assistance). One of these volunteers was Russell J. Clark who has been preparing taxes at LUM since our program started in 2002.
Originally from Griffith, Indiana, Russ lives in Lafayette with his wife, Katherine. He earned a BA from Indiana University in Government & Economics and is retired from an impressive career with the US Department of Labor. Katherine is a retired public school library assistant. Russ & Katherine have four grown children (two girls and two twin boys), three of whom are married; and six grandchildren. Their children live in Lafayette, West Lafayette, Indianapolis and Minnesota. Russ, Katherine and two of their children graduated from Indiana University and the other two children earned degrees from Purdue University and Saint Joseph’s College.
Russ and his family are parishioners of St. Lawrence Catholic Church (Lafayette). In addition to his work with the Tax Assistance Program, Russ has also served on the LUM Board of Directors representing St. Lawrence for 10 years, and was elected to the Executive Board. In the community, Russ also volunteers with his church, has served as the president of WALLA, on the board of the Tippecanoe County Credit Union and on the Catholic Build board which coordinates the fundraising and building of local Habitat for Humanity homes for the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana.
Russ shared that he gets great satisfaction with working with LUM because
“LUM has a talented staff and is a well-organized and well-respected organization with a terrific reputation and effective and well-thought-out programs that meet the vital needs of the families in our community — like Jubilee Christmas, the Good Samaritan Program and the Tax Assistance Program.”
He enjoys using his expertise with the Tax Assistance Program. Russ shared that
he particularly “enjoys the conversations he has with families in preparation for filing taxes for each member of their household.”
These are important conversations that oftentimes result in a higher tax return. He recalls fondly a family who ended up with an $8,000 tax refund, which enabled them to pay off their debt and purchase a home of their own.
Russ believes that
“the LUM Tax Program is having a tremendous impact on this community and just as important, it’s assisting individuals and families through a stressful process.”
Russ is yet another example of how fortunate LUM is to have willing volunteers of this caliber. LUM could not accomplish its mission without volunteers — and is blessed to have volunteers like Russ who give selflessly and generously, year after year.
Thank you, Russ.