Last Friday, I attended the volunteer recruitment kick-off for the Community Tax Centers to support Foundation Communities in this very important community initiative. We’re helping them get the word out about their need for volunteers: Intake Specialists, Translators and people that like crunching numbers & helping families, Community Tax Center Volunteers. This year, the Community Tax Centers will help prepare 16,000 tax returns and bring over $20 million into the pockets of Central Texas families. That’s pretty amazing and even more amazing are the people that step up to help; people like Willow Lucas. Willow gave a great presentation at the volunteer kick-off on why she volunteers with the Community Tax Centers and I just had to share her story with you!
Tell us a bit about yourself.
Willow Lucas, born (and raised) in South Austin.
How did you get involved in volunteering?
I originally started volunteering with a friend in college who had a daughter. We volunteered to coach her soccer team and her girl scout troop. When I graduated, I took a position with Americorp as a Volunteer Coordinator for Habitat for Humanity.
How did you find out about the Community Tax Centers?
Basically what happened was, I took an H&R Block tax course for work so I could be the resident “Tax Expert”. After the class was over they asked if we wanted to apply for a job preparing taxes. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to pick up a couple of extra dollars because my husband and I were saving to buy a house. I worked there for 1 week, after the first time I had to prepare a tax return for a single mother of 3 making less than 25k per year, I quit. Around that time there was a notice in our electronic newspaper Horizon about volunteering for the Community Tax Centers. So I called, at first they said it was too late because there were no training sessions, but once they heard I had just had extensive tax training with H&R Block they said I could volunteer, so I signed up and have done it every year except the year I was in school.
Why do you think it’s important to be a Community Tax Center volunteer?
I think it is ridiculous to charge people who obviously need the money to do their taxes. I think it is a shame that the tax code is so complicated that regular people feel forced to have people prepare their taxes for large sums of money. The Community Tax Center is a great service to the community and I hope that it continues to grow and recruit volunteers.
What are other ways you stay involved in the community?
This year I am also volunteering with the United Way as well as the Junior Achievers. I feel it is important to contribute back to my community through time as well as donations. I donate to the United Way, KUT Radio, St. Edward’s and a couple of other charities.
And most importantly, what’s your favorite taco place in town?
Polvos has the BEST fish tacos ever and their mexican martini is great as well! 🙂
Thanks for sharing Willow. Way to change Central Texas – for good!