EITCA and VITA volunteers celebrate success with guest speaker Councilman Myron Lowery

Councilman Myron Lowery (center,seated) thanks EITCA and VITA volunteers at the Volunteer Celebration at the Hickory Ridge Mall.

United Way takes pride in its Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Earned Income Tax Credit Alliance (EITCA) volunteers for their work to help bring millions of dollars into our community.

On Saturday April 28,  these volunteers were recognized for the good they do across the Mid-South in this unique partnership between United Way, the Internal Revenue Service and other organizations across our region. The celebration was held at the Hickory Ridge Mall banquet room.

Many VITA and EITCA volunteers were honored at the event (a list is attached at the end of this story). Regina Walker, Senior Vice President of Community Engagement and Alignment with United Way provided opening remarks and Memphis City Councilman Myron Lowery (Super District 8) encouraged the efforts of volunteer tax assistants. As one of the effort’s founding volunteer partners, Lowery has continued to provide his support each year.

Just last year over 6,600 tax forms were prepared by the EITCA / VITA partnership, resulting in over $3.7 million in Earned Income Tax Credits coming to the Mid-South. These returns resulted in over $11 million in tax refunds coming to the region. According to 2011 statistics, roughly 80% of people who could file and take advantage of the Earned Income Tax Credit have one or more children. Over 38% of potential filers receive assistance from food stamps, while 55% have an adjusted gross income of less than $15,000 per year. Volunteers are hoping for even better results for this year (official statistics are normally released in August).

The EITCA is seeking grants and other support for its continuing work to see more people use the Earned Income Tax Credit so more tax refund dollars will come to the Mid-South. These refunds can be used to pay bills, fix a vehicle to use for work transportation and in some cases, are used as down payments for homes.

Other guests who participated in program activities include Phelicia Stuckey, who provided music; T.L. Williams Dance Academy provided a tribute to dance; Shirley Downing, former Ms. Senior Tennessee, made remarks on “We Know We Are Getting Older When…”; Dereka Williams performed a tribute in song;  “World Famous” LeVeda McCou provided remarks on “Laughter is Good for the Soul”; Other presentations were made by Debra Pointer, Senior Tax Consultant, Internal Revenue Service and Nidia Logan, Manager, Community Engagement and Alignment, United Way of the Mid-South.

The list of EITCA and VITA volunteers can be downloaded here as an Adobe Acrobat PDF document.

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