Tag Archives: marilyn zerbes

Tax Assistance Program – In Full Swing

It’s tax time at LUM – so the office is bustling. Each year LUM partners with the IRS to bring free, quality, tax return preparation services to hundreds in our community. In just five weeks, the LUM Tax Assistance Program has had a tremendous positive impact on our community.

marilyn w gold border

Some interesting statistics so far are as follows:

  • Total Income Tax Returns Filed – 397
  • Total Earned Income Credit – $340,024
  • Average Adjusted Gross Income – $19,058
  • Total Refund Amount – $878,309

Last year, 790 joint and individual returns were prepared; and $1.6+ million in refunds and credits were returned to local households—and back into our local economy.

Why is the LUM Tax Assistance Program so important?

  • Lower wage workers wouldn’t be able to afford having their tax returns done professionally
  • Much of federal & state support for working families is offered through tax code
  • If workers don’t file, significant tax credits will be left unclaimed
  • Refunds boost our local economy by increasing sales and creating jobs in retail

Joe Micon, LUM Executive Director stated,

“The positive impact upon local families of these dollars cannot be understated. Over the past 14 years LUM has built a strong infrastructure of tax expertise, positive relationships with clients, information technology and a pool of committed volunteers and generous donors who support this program.

“Of all the wonderful services offered by LUM, there is none that has a greater positive impact on the children and families in our community than our tax assistance program.”

LUM would not be able to offer this service without the skilled, trained volunteers who make this important LUM program such a success each year. The 2016 LUM Tax Assistance Program is led by Marilyn Zerbes (pictured above).

For more information on the LUM Tax Assistance Program or how YOU can volunteer, click HERE or call 765.423.2691. To make an investment in the LUM Tax Assistance program and make a donation, click HERE.

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Tax Assistance Program

Meet Andrea — LUM Volunteer Tax Preparer

Volunteer2016-02-16 Tax 008 (2)s are an integral part of the LUM Income Tax Assistance Program — and this year, 15 LUM volunteers studied and received IRS certification to prepare tax returns. It’s a big commitment of their time and effort, but the return for volunteers is big too. Today we’d like to shine a spotlight on one of our superstars — Andrea Schmidt.

Originally from Waukegan, Illinois, Andrea earned a BS from Northwestern University (Elementary Education/Linguistics) and a Master’s in Education from University of Illinois, Chicago. She and her husband, David, moved to Lafayette in 1992 so he could take a job as a physician in private practice after 11 years as a US Air Force physician.

She then earned an associate’s degree in paralegal studies from Ivy Tech Community College and was a paralegal for over 10 years. Andrea and David, both now retired, have three grown sons – John, who lives in Phoenix; and Christian and Peter, who live in Lafayette. They have six grandchildren – two from each son.

Andrea has volunteered at LUM for six of the past seven tax seasons. She donates 15 hours of her time each week.

“I enjoy helping people in such a real and tangible way. For some of my clients, a full one-third of their annual income comes from the tax refund we are able to secure for them through LUM. And because we don’t charge for our service, low-income wage earners are much more likely to file their returns.”

Andrea says the best part about his volunteer work in the LUM Tax Assistance Program is that it helps her to better understand the lives of low-income wage earners. “My stereotypes are challenged every time I come to LUM. I am amazed by how hard people work and how far they are able to stretch their limited dollars. It’s a real eye opener.” The remainder of the year, Andrea volunteers with the LUM Good Samaritan Program.

The 2016  LUM Tax Assistance Program is led by Marilyn Zerbes. Call
765.423.2691 for more information.

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Tax Assistance Program

Meet the New LUM Staff

Marilyn Zerbes —LUM Emergency Shelter, acting program director

Originally from a small town in Virginia mzerbescalled Bremo Bluff, Marilyn lives in Lafayette with her husband, Mark. Marilyn graduated from Purdue University (West Lafayette) and is a parishioner of St. Thomas Aquinas Center (West Lafayette). Marilyn and Mark have three children, all of whom are married with children of their own. Marilyn and Mark have five granddaughters and two grandsons. She loves spending time with her family and friends.

Marilyn has many years of not for profit accounting experience including as the LUM Business Manager in 2013. She loves gardening and more recently camping in a tiny vintage camper – but is a homebody at heart who enjoys being with her family.

Marilou Warden —LUM Achieve! Stay-in-School Program, new program director

Marilou has lived in Lafayette for most of her life. She has beMarilouWardenen married for 42 years to Mike Warden, who she met in chemistry class their last semester in high school. A graduate of Purdue University (West Lafayette), she was a teacher in the Lafayette School Corporation for 28 years before retiring. Since retirement, Marilou has been active with the LUM Achieve! Stay-in-School Program and the LUM After School Program.

Marilou and Mike, who is retired from Purdue, are members of Crestview Community Church (Lafayette) and have two sons, Nolan and Elliot. Nolan and his wife, Hilda, have two children – Lucia (4) and Elias (16 months). Nolan is preparing to defend his dissertation in ethnomusicology at UCLA. Elliot graduated from Purdue (art education/photography) and now lives in New York City. In addition to her work with LUM, Marilou enjoys spending time with her family especially her grandchildren.


Meet the New LUM Board Officers

2014-09-17 Dream Team at Board Meeting 024 (2)LUM is controlled by a Board of Directors — one representative from each member church plus a few appointed individuals from specific community groups. The Board meets once a month, overseeing and directing policy decisions, fiscal matters, and programming issues, ensuring that LUM continues to fulfill its vital mission to the community. The board is led by an eight member executive council.

Best wishes and congratulations to the 2015 LUM Board of Directors. A 2015-BoD-Officersspecial thank you to the 2015 Executive Council members:

  • Robert Hall, President, Saint Lawrence Catholic Church
  • Jeremiah Dole, Vice President, University Church
  • Patty Useem, Secretary, Federated Church
  • Marilyn Zerbes, Treasurer, At Large
  • Cliff Mitchell, Facilities, Elston Presbyterian Church
  • Rev. Clarinda Crawford, Personnel, Congress Street United Methodist Church
  • Robert Blue, Program, Planning & Evaluation, Immanuel United Church of Christ
  • Joe Micon, Executive Director, Lafayette Urban Ministry

The Lafayette Urban Ministry leadership is passionate, hard working and talented — it’s going to be a great 2015!


Board of Directors

Chuck Anderson
Rev. Mark Berg
Rev. Gregory Bonds
Rev. Mark & Ashley Bonnes
Rev. Kevin Bowers
Rev. David Comstock
Nita Cunningham
Paul Dixon
Linda Dolby
Rev. Ryan Donoho
Fr. Ted Dudzynski
Cheryl Fowler
Rev. Lore Gibson
Allen Grady
Maryann Haan
Gary Henriott
Rev. David Horner
Rev. Troy Hostettler
Nancy Hughes
Tom Kanaby
Rev. Gilbert Kerrigan
GuyAnne Lillpop
Joan Low
Rev. Scott Mann
Melissa Martin
Rev. Steve Mason
Deb Parent
Nolie Parnell
Cathy Potter
Susie Riley
Rev. Justin Schlesinger-Devlin
Carl Schwamberger
Rev. Bill Smutz
Jane Stewart
Diane Stott
Mark Thomas
Rev. Ezell Wiggins
Charlene Williams
Rev. Howard Wright
Rev. Dominic Young


Meet Marilyn Zerbes — LUM Bookkeeper

2013-07-07 Marilyn 009 (2)

Marilyn Martin Zerbes lives in Lafayette. She is originally from a small town in Virginia called Bremo Bluff. Marilyn is a former CPA with a BS in accounting from Purdue University. She is a parishioner of St. Thomas Aquinas and works with various nonprofits including serving as a board member of a local foundation.

Marilyn is married to Mark Zerbes; and they have three children, all of whom are married with children of their own. They have four grand-daughters and two grandsons with one on the way. Marilyn loves spending time with her family and friends.

Marilyn’s faith is important to her. She finds peace, joy, love and strength, beyond measure, in knowing that if she listens she will know what God really has in mind for her. She is also inspired by “faith in action” including human kindness, forgiveness in the face of wrong-doing, and the resilience of the human spirit.

One of Marilyn’s passions is flower gardening and is a Master Gardener intern. She also loves everything old – antique furniture, tchotchkes, and her home, which is over 100 years old. Marilyn’s guilty pleasures are period TV dramas with cockney accents — Downton Abbey and Call the Midwife.

Marilyn has always admired the work of LUM – helping people while treating them with great dignity and respect. She states:

“LUM is a good steward of the time and talent that is entrusted to it.”

2013-07-11 MarilynZerbes 022 (2)

In her position as the LUM Bookkepper, Marilyn’s goals are to do her job well by managing the business of LUM and providing the infrastructure to support the client services as well as the direct service providers. She believes in serving the LUM clients and stake holders well and being transparent.

Marilyn shared,

“I love the staff and am amazed by the dedication and hard work done by the member churches and the many, many volunteers.

LUM runs smoothly and efficiently. I am edified by so many people working together for the good of others.”

She is excited to be a part of the LUM team and to begin having a positive impact on the community through her work. And LUM is fortunate to have Marilyn join the LUM staff.

Marilyn’s Favorite Poem

My Symphony

by William Henry Channing

To live content with small means.

To seek elegance rather than luxury,

And refinement rather than fashion.

To be worthy not respectable,

And wealthy not rich.

To study hard, think quietly, talk gently,

Act frankly, to listen to stars, birds, babes,

And sages with open heart, to bear all cheerfully,

Do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never.

In a word, to let the spiritual,

Unbidden and unconscious,

Grow up through the common.

This is to be my symphony.