- United Way of the Big Bend offers free tax filing service.
- They are hosting pop-up sites up across town to serve vulnerable neighbors, including at The Salvation Army.
- Watch the video to find out how you can access this resource and why it is needed this year particularly.
Boosting financial empowerment this tax season. Finding out about a free tax filing service and how it's helping neighbors right here in our community.
United Way of the Big Bend is offering their Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program.
Neighbors can visit pop up sites to file their taxes for free alongside IRS-certified volunteers like Tracie Lambright.
Lambright says this is a crucial service.
"So many don't have any idea, they don't know, they just don't," said Lambright.
This is where VITA steps in to help.
"Guide them to resources," said Lambright. She explained volunteers prepare, review, and file your taxes. However, she said the support goes beyond logistics, it's about financially empowering people too.
"I can talk them through things, and kind of give them more knowledge of what taxes are," said Lambright.
Berneice Cox, President and CEO of United Way of the Big Bend explained the impact in a statement. "We're not just crunching numbers; we're fostering financial empowerment and making a meaningful difference in the lives of those we serve."
Last tax cycle, they served 1910 individual families.
Lambright said this year, the demand has gone up.
"With the way the economy is, people can't afford $500 to have their income taxes filed," said Lambright.
The Salvation Army noticed this need here in our neighborhood. This is why they've partnered with United Way for the first time as a host site.
"We're seeing that right here here literally just steps away, individuals are in need of our services," said Brittany Christie, with The Salvation Army. She has noticed community needs are more comprehensive. Christie said VITA can lighten the load and arm people with knowledge.
"Provide some solutions and opportunities for people who want to better their situations," said Christie.
Christie said organization partnerships enable them to make the most impact.
Lambright said to meet the growing need, they're looking for more volunteers.
"We could have more dates, more sites and really push this program out to everybody that needs it," said Lambright.
To become a volunteer, you can contact Samantha@uwbb.org or message United Way of the Big Bend at 850-414-0853.
The next VITA tax filing session at The Salvation Army will be held on March 12. Information about dates and times for other sites across town can be found here.