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Anne Foland - Columnist
Posted 3/15/21

On Monday, March 1, I was scheduled for help on my taxes at Mulberry House in downtown Middletown.

I assumed the event would be held as usual in the office area. Retirees skilled in Math have …

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Brrrr

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On Monday, March 1, I was scheduled for help on my taxes at Mulberry House in downtown Middletown.

I assumed the event would be held as usual in the office area. Retirees skilled in Math have always offered assistance for taxpayers for many years.

I was always impressed with the volunteers. Often people showed up with their paperwork in a mess-too much of some reports and not enough of others. The volunteers always attacked any problem with kindness.

This year was a completely different experience. Mulberry House is housed in an empty sanctuary. Senior activities are held in the basement area which is heated.

Monday in Middletown was definitely not a warm day. In fact an icy rain was falling. When I finally figured out that the tax helpers were working in the old sanctuary I was stunned. That portion of the building is seldom used and is not heated.

Believe me that church was chilly. Several of the usual senior advisors were present but the system was completely different.

Instead of dealing with the senior advisors everyone was interviewed and filled out paperwork with a new group of volunteers.

The building was so cold and damp all the volunteers were wearing coats, hats and scarves.

Once the initial interview was completed we were advised to return home and wait for a phone call.

The phone call advised taxpayers to return to the church to complete the process. Then senior advisors met with us one on one, we paid our due and were dismissed.

Before I left I advised the workers to build a campfire on the concrete floor. They laughed but just shook their heads. Whoever had planned the use of the building had not planned for any heat.

As I left the building I watched other seniors backing around to leave. Though it was close to touch and go in some instances we all left without any problems.

It was heartwarming for all of us to express our thanks to the volunteers and to pay our fair share of taxes to our beloved country.

Stay safe, stay strong and keep smiling.

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