Volunteer and Give Back One Million Dollars to Hamden’s Low Income Families
Help give back over one million dollars to Hamden’s low income families. Volunteer for the twelve weeks of tax season at the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program at Hamden High School.
A joint initiative of United Way, the IRS and local volunteers, Hamden’s VITA program served rough- ly 350 households last year, returning tax credits and refunds of almost $600,000 to families struggling to make ends meet. This year, as word of the site spreads, refunds are projected to reach $1 million.
"These are our neighbors, people who help make Hamden great, and VITA helps them feed their fami- lies, keep them warm in winter, go to school at night, afford the child care that lets them keep working, all the while moving towards financial stability," says Jim Emswiler, site coordinator for Hamden VI- TA. "Plus, those returns represent one million dollars more that will be spent back in Hamden and sur- rounding towns."
Emswiler points out that it will simply take twenty-five ordinary people with extraordinary hearts to accomplish this goal. Volunteers are trained, free of charge, to prepare simple returns. No prior train- ing or experience is needed. After a brief certification exam, volunteers donate one three- to four-hour session on one night or Saturday each week from the end of January to mid-April.
Says Emswiler, "Volunteers leave with amazing stories of how they have made a real difference in the lives of others. The stories always move me: the single mom with three kids earning twenty thousand dollars per year; the student trying to go to college while holding down two part-time jobs to help sup- port his family; the parents of four children making minimum wage and on the brink of foreclosure. So often we feel powerless to make a difference for struggling families. Here’s a way to do that, and it just takes a little training and one night or day each week for twelve weeks."
NHCAP is looking for ideas from our membership around Pro Bono and Community Involvement.
If you have a favorite charity or a “close to your heart cause” you’d like to share and have the membership help you with please let us know.Also, perhaps you have a son or daughter that is in the military and currently deployed…..please send us their “wish list”, name and location.We can rally our troops for support.