Archive for Thursday, August 30, 2001

Refunds no relief for taxed charities

Food pantry funds low despite tax refund checks

August 30, 2001

By now, $300 and $600 are familiar figures to most taxpayers. Depending on familial status, that's how much money they're getting back from the government.

Although many have received their checks by now, the effects haven't necessarily been felt in Eudora yet.

At two Eudora-based charitable organizations, donations haven't increased since the brown envelopes made their way into mailboxes.

Groceries still fill the food pantry at St. Paul United Church of Christ, but its monetary funds are down to near zero, said volunteer Marge Coleman. The pantry can no longer give out vouchers with the food it distributes.

"We haven't had anything come in since probably last fall," she said.

She suspected taxpayers are spending refund checks in other ways.

"I think a lot of people are using it for back to school," Coleman said. "My daughter said that it's just right in time."

Coleman said she had a plan for her check.

"We're probably just going to put it in the bank."

The refund check spending situation doesn't vary much from another Eudora-based charity, the Ministerial Alliance.

"We haven't really seen anything," the Rev. Glenn Weld of the Eudora Assembly of God Church said. "We just take a couple of offerings a year. From time to time other money will come in."

Since the alliance takes offerings around Thanksgiving and Good Friday, the late summer refund checks don't make too much of a difference.

"I don't know what the future holds," Weld said. "In our situation, because we don't meet regularly, just a couple of times a year, this hasn't affected us."

He said he didn't know if refund checks would still be around by the Thanksgiving offering.

Although Weld said he didn't know exactly where his check would go, he said it would be spent.

"It's hard to have money in your pocket and not spend it," he said.

Although Eudora charities may not feel the impact of refund checks, branch manager Tina Cavner at Douglas County Bank in Eudora said the institution has seen the multicolored checks pass over the bank's counter.

"It seems like everyone has been depositing them," Cavner said. "A lot of them in savings; a lot of them in checking. People are getting them, and they're happy."

Cavner said she didn't know exactly how people were spending or saving.

"We really don't look at people's accounts in that type of manner," she said. "We're really not looking at how they spend their money. We don't delve into their personal-type things."

Cavner said she's putting her check to work for her.

"I used mine to put into a CD," she said. "I tried to make something beneficial out of it."

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