United Way of the Mid-South’s Earned Income Tax Credit Alliance (EITCA) honored volunteers who helped as Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) workers this year at the Hickory Ridge Mall banquet facility last night.
Volunteers enjoyed a buffet dinner, a runway show by Chloe’s School of Etiquette and Modeling and an energy packed dance presentation by the Silver Feet Dance Academy.
“Volunteers donate their time when they could have better things to do. You give as volunteers because you feel it is your responsibility, and you have clearly demonstrated what can be done to improve the quality of life for all our brothers and sisters. We thank you, thank you, thank you!” said Regina Walker, Sr. VP of Community Engagement and Alignment for United Way of the Mid-South.
EITCA and VITA volunteers helped local citizens file more than 5,000 tax returns for free over the last several months, saving filers from paying preparation costs and keeping them away from illegal predatory lenders who cheat people out of their rightful refunds. The volunteers also worked to ensure that qualifying citizens used the Earned Income Tax Credit, which can often result in a much larger tax refund for moderate to lower-income families and individuals.
VITA volunteers successfully complete Internal Revenue Service training and are IRS certified before they can help people prepare and file their taxes.
The dinner/event also included a welcome from Patrick Jacobs, General Manager of the Hickory Ridge Mall, who said that he and those who work with him are dedicated to the community and proud to have United Way’s VITA effort at that location this year. VITA volunteers helped people filed their taxes in a sector of the mall until April 18. This was just one location of many.
Other presenters included United Way staff members Yvonne Howard, EITC Alliance Coordinator, and Nidia Logan, Manager, Community Impact. Debra Pointer, SPEC Relationship Manager, Internal Revenue Service was also a presenter.
For a list of VITA volunteers, please see the link at the end of this article.
Howard served as host for the event and expressed her appreciation for the volunteers’ willingness to give a lot of their personal time and skills to train and provide this valuable service for our community. She also announced that VITA volunteers will be trained in coming days to better serve people who are impacted by the recent tornadoes, windstorms and floods (see related story here).