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TU student volunteer Abigail Barwick (left) prepares a tax return for a Thomasville client during a local Tax-Aide session at Thomas University.


TU students gain experience, help community by volunteering with Tax-Aide program

By Joshua Barrett, Student writer/photographer

Each Monday afternoon until mid-April, Thomas University students are gaining real-world experience by helping people from the community complete their income tax returns as part of the Tax-Aide program.

TU student volunteer Abigail Barwick, a junior accounting major from Boston, Georgia, is one of the volunteers. She said she believes this program will help her in the future.

“I’m using this opportunity to gain valuable experience to go into the world of accounting,” Barwick said. “I can hopefully learn from what I’m doing here, and it’ll help me in the future.”

The Tax-Aide program – which is sponsored by AARP, the Thomasville Rotary Club and the Thomas County Public Library – is held 1-5 p.m. Mondays in Smith-Bonvillian Hall classrooms A & B, located on Thomas University’s Forbes Campus. Tax-Aide sessions are also held at the Thomas County Public Library 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays. The program runs through April 18.

Tax-Aide provides assistance for low- and moderate-income households and clients with a yearly income of $50,000 or less. Appointments are required for assistance.

Student volunteer Katie Braswell, a junior accounting major from Thomasville, said she believes this is great for the community and in her own life because she can help with her husband’s up-and-coming local business.

“My husband has his own business, so I took part in this to gain the experience I would need to help further his success,” Braswell said. “This is also great because it brings the community together through service.”

Guiding the student volunteers is Randy Minton, a TU Business instructor. All volunteers are IRS-certified.

Local couple Peter and Nancy Johnson both recently retired and use Tax-Aide.

“We are getting our taxes done through AARP, which means we are retired and we need this help,” Nancy Johnson said.

Peter Johnson said, “It’s a blessing that it’s free, and it’s nice to see the university is involved.”

For more information about Tax-Aide, call the Thomas County Public Library’s Reference Desk at 229-225-5252 or Al Bryan, a Tax-Aide program organizer, at 229-233-1179.


TU student volunteer Maura Butler (right) from Cairo looks over paperwork before beginning a client’s tax return.


Nancy and Peter Johnson fill out paperwork before meeting with a Tax-Aide TU student volunteer.

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