United Way Newsletter
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CELEBRATING FREE TAX PREP NETWORK VOLUNTEERS
On April 29, United Way held its fifth annual Volunteer Appreciation event, recognizing the hard work and dedication of more than 120 volunteers who make the Free Tax Preparation Network such a wonderful community resource.
Recent research indicates that people who access benefits like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) increase their job stability and retention, and decrease the likelihood of needing public assistance. During the 2009 filing season, Creating Assets, Savings and Hope (CASH)/Buffalo Federation of Neighborhood Centers (BFNC) tax prep volunteers completed 8,896 tax returns for local individuals and families, bringing $14,895,351 in tax refunds and credits back to our community.
United Way received a Certificate of Appreciation from the Internal Revenue Service at the event as well, in recognition of our active leadership and support of the Free Tax Prep network. The event provided an opportunity for the CASH tax sites to recognize their outstanding volunteers, whose efforts year after year have helped make the Free Tax Preparation Network what it is today. Here are a few of this year’s honorees:
Buffalo Federation of Neighborhood Centers’ award went to Mr. Eugene Thomas, who has been a tax prep volunteer for 21 years! Mr. Thomas not only volunteers his time six days a week at BFNC during tax season, but also volunteers during the summer months at least once a week. He is truly concerned about the clients and serves them with dignity and respect, trying to find the BEST solution to their tax problems.
Year after year, Jim Hayes remains the Cazenovia Resource Center team’s Most Valuable Volunteer. Over the past 4 years, Jim has brought confidence and competence to Cazenovia and continues to provide in-depth attention and strategic advice to his “return” taxpayers who ask for him specifically. He is always well-informed, ready to work and a key resource for assistance.
Dan Devine was the volunteer of the year at Northwest Buffalo Community Center. Dan is an attorney, and as a sole proprietor he puts his practice on hold for the first 4 months of the year and dedicates all his time and effort to preparing tax returns. Dan has never missed a day of volunteering - he prepared more than 400 tax returns this filing season. His efforts helped Northwest Buffalo prepare over 1,000 returns!
Congratulations and thanks to all the Free Tax Prep volunteers. Thanks also to Bank of America, HSBC, M&T Bank, the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo and the Western New York Foundation for their support of the CASH/BFNC Free Tax Preparation Network. Finally special thanks to our LIVE UNITED Program Partner, the Buffalo Federation of Neighborhood Centers (BFNC)!