$20 Million in Tax Returns, One Volunteer at a Time

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!

Now help us bring in that $20 Million for Central Texas families! Sign up to volunteer today!

Read more about how United Way Capital Area is giving Central Texas families the knowledge and tools to become financially stable.

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