Senior volunteers were honored at a drive through at the Education Services Center on the morning of Friday, August 21. There are almost 200 volunteers in the district’s Senior Tax Rebate Program, and 95 of them participated in the drive-through on Friday morning.
Volunteers are extremely valuable to the district, contributing roughly 15,000 hours every year, which is the equivalent of approximately 15 full-time paraprofessional positions--a value of over $200,000! This is in addition to the invaluable benefit LPS students, programs, and schools receive from the genuine care volunteers bring with their time and presence.
Seniors are eligible to receive a rebate check on their property taxes in exchange for the time they devote to schools. Unfortunately, with current health restrictions in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, visitors and volunteers are not allowed in LPS schools. This means the district does not get to reap the benefits of seniors’ generously given time, and it also means seniors aren’t eligible to receive their rebate checks.
Amy Marszalek, the district’s coordinator of volunteer and senior programs, alerted the volunteers to the change as soon as possible, given that many seniors are on a fixed income. LPS wanted to be sure volunteers understand that they are valued and appreciated. With the current physical distancing guidelines, the appreciation drive-through was the best way to recognize and personally thank the volunteers for all they do, though it falls woefully short of what they deserve. Amy said, “This was a drive-through chance for our senior volunteers to know how much we value them and will miss them in our schools this year, also to give them a little sunshine and joy in their day.”