Spotlight on Volunteers: Kathy Preston Ehrlich

Kathy Preston Ehrlich

Introducing “Spotlight on Volunteers,” a new series that features local volunteers and recognizes their conscientious efforts to give back to our community.

Remember the adage “If you want something done, ask a busy person?” That is exactly what came to mind as I listened to Kathy Preston Ehrlich talking about her passion for volunteering in the community. An Edmonds native, Kathy has enjoyed donating her time since she was in college. Later, as a “baseball mom” of three sons, she recalls always being involved with tournaments, fundraising and events that benefited the kids. She grew accustomed to a hectic schedule. She has been active in our community since moving back to Edmonds in 2016 from the Los Angeles area.

Recently, I met with Kathy at a local coffee shop to learn more about her work with AARP’s Tax-Aide, a service provided by AARP to help low- to moderate-income taxpayers with tax preparation and filing.  “I’m a bookkeeper,” she said, “I enjoy doing tax returns and knowing I am helping people who need it.”

The program requires a 40-hour certification through AARP as well as an annual update to ensure volunteers have the most up-to-date knowledge of IRS regulations. Kathy says the certification training provides a lot of valuable information and the opportunity to ask questions, which gives her more confidence in the work she is doing. Her eyes lit up when she talked about the local coordinators who organize the program. She’s worked with them for several years now and believes that becoming a coordinator when she retires might be one way she could “do more”.

This altruistic trait was likely passed down through her family. Kathy attributes her affinity for volunteering to her father, a Navy veteran who volunteered with the Emergency Services Coordinating Agency (ESCA).  She recalls he was someone who enjoyed giving of his time to the community. Kathy shared that having the sense of purpose and contributing to the community is important to her.  “It makes me feel good to do things for others, it brings out the best in me,” she said.

— By Dana Davis

 Dana Davis lives in Edmonds with her family and enjoys sharing stories of local people working behind the scenes to help make our community a great place to live. If you know a volunteer that deserves recognition for their community contributions, contact Dana via her website  

  1. This is very nice Kathy . Taxes are something that need to be done, must be done and to have someone skilled helping those who cannot afford the cost is great thing. I commend you.

  2. Such a pleasure to have served with you on the Friends of Edmonds Library board, Kathy! Keep up the wonderful work you do for our community!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Real first and last names — as well as city of residence — are required for all commenters.
This is so we can verify your identity before approving your comment.

By commenting here you agree to abide by our Code of Conduct. Please read our code at the bottom of this page before commenting.