Join United Way’s Free Tax Prep Campaign in the Fight Against Poverty

Banner for the United Way of King County Free Tax Preparation Campaign

Are you thinking about how to get involved in a cause that can make a positive impact in your community or someone’s life, but don’t know where to start? Volunteer with United Way of King County’s Free Tax Preparation Campaign.

United Way of King County is gearing up for this upcoming tax season, and we are currently seeking volunteers to join. From January through April, we offer free walk-in tax preparation assistance across King County. In addition, we connect people to savings opportunities and public benefits that they may not even know are available to them.

Retirees and others help our campaign succeed by contributing extensive and valuable work and life experience. Your talents can empower your peers to make a difference in thousands of lives in King County.

photo of a young woman with large, clown-like sunglasses on and a burlap bag with a big dollar sign on it in her hand, with her arm around the shoulders of an older man wearing a formal hat and patterned sweater who is holding a sign that says Federal Way Multi-Service Center. Both have big smiles.

By now, you may want more context on the program. Let’s dive in!

United Way’s Free Tax Preparation Campaign is one of the largest Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Programs in the nation, and the largest in the state of Washington. Programs like ours play an important role in reducing poverty and empowering people’s lives. We aim to help our community get all that it deserves.

For many who come to our sites for help, tax credits and refunds are critically needed to meet their basic needs like keeping food on the table and a roof over their heads. Last tax season, we helped over 23,200 people, bringing $31.6 million back to the community in tax refunds and credits.

Why volunteer?

Belinda—a retiree who has volunteered on the Free Tax Prep campaign since 2011—shares why she keeps coming back:

“It allows me to keep busy. 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.”

In 2019, we invite you to join the campaign by taking a weekly shift from January 15 to April 18. Volunteers can choose between being a tax preparer or an intake and benefits specialist who welcomes people and connects them to healthcare and other public resources. Training will be provided—no prior experience is necessary!

While volunteers are needed at locations throughout King County, the needs for help are greatest in Auburn, Burien, Kent, SeaTac, and Tukwila. We encourage you to participate, share your experience, and help grow our campaign. Older people who volunteer truly make the difference.

For more information and sign up to volunteer, visit Questions? Please feel free to contact us at

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program

In addition to United Way of King County, AARP Foundation volunteers provide free tax preparation services for low- to moderate-income taxpayers at a variety of sites. Learn more at “You’ve Got What it Takes: Volunteer with AARP Foundation Tax-Aide.”

Contributor Jenn Hong coordinates financial stability programs at United Way of King County. United Way’s mission is to bring caring people together to give, volunteer, and take action to help people in need and solve our community’s toughest challenges.

This article originally appeared in AgeWise King County (December 2018), an e-zine published by the Seattle-King County Advisory Council on Aging & Disability Services.