United Way Is Recruiting Volunteers
Do you enjoy seeing the people in your city do well? Do you want to help get them there? Well right now the United Way of King County is gearing up for the Free Tax Campaign, helping low- to moderate-income households file taxes, connecting to public benefits, and setting up a path to financial stability. We just need more volunteers to help all the people in King County who desire these services!
Last year 22,700 people got their taxes filed with us, and thousands of them received access to public benefits. These benefits include food assistance, healthcare access, and free financial counseling.
Seniors and retirees play a huge role in the success of this project! Their experience and commitment applied to this cause means that many more residents are helped and helped right.
We have two positions: Intake and Benefits Volunteer, connecting clients to beneficial programs, and Tax Volunteer, helping file clients’ taxes. The training(s) will be provided, so no prior experience is necessary.
By now you may be wanting more context on the program. So, let’s dive in!
The Free Tax Campaign is one of the largest Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) programs in the nation, and the largest in the state of Washington. We aim to help our community get the most out of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), a federal anti-poverty measure that boosts tax refunds for low-income workers. That’s money going right to families in need, instead of them paying upwards of $300 to have their taxes done. Last tax season, the campaign brought $30.5 million back to the community in tax refunds!
One of our long-time supporters, Belinda, is a retiree who has been volunteering with us since 2011. This year she plans to take on five volunteer shifts at the Kent Public Health site. She says:
“The reason why I keep coming back to volunteer is because it allows me to keep busy. Before I retired, I was so used to spending most of my time working. This campaign makes me feel like I can use my skills to help others even though I may not be working anymore. Not only that, I get to meet so many people and become friends with my fellow volunteers. It’s really a great experience.” —Belinda G., retiree and seven-time returning volunteer
This year we invite you to join us for a weekly three- to four-hour shift from January 9 – April 19.
While volunteers are needed at all locations throughout King County, the need is especially great in Auburn, Burien, Rainer Beach, SeaTac, West Seattle, and White Center. We encourage you to participate—senior volunteers truly make the difference.
For more information on both positions and to sign up, visit uwkc.org/taxvolunteer.
Contributor Jenn Hong coordinates the financial stability program at United Way of King County. You can e-mail Free Tax Prep questions to United Way at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared in AgeWise King County (December 2017)