Author: Amy Allison

Volunteers Needed Who Speak Sign Language

One of our partners with the VITA program, AARP, is hosting a special tax event that needs volunteers with a very specific skills set: those who speak American Sign Language. This event is an outreach event for deaf and hard of hearing taxpayers. If you know anyone who could help, please put them in touch with me at AmyA@associatedministries.org.

Please note that they would not need to serve the entire day. These individuals would need to pass a short Volunteer Standards of Conduct test, but it is not difficult (related to the ethics of working with taxes, such as protecting taxpayer confidentiality). They would be doing ASL interpretation for the tax preparers, so they do not need to have any tax background.

Here is the location and day/time:
Pt. Defiance/Ruston Sr. Center
4716 N Baltimore St
Tacoma WA 98407
Mon, March 14th, 10 am-3 pm

Thank you!

Amy L. Allison | Director, Community Mobilization

Missed the April 15th tax deadline? Help is available!

Pierce County Asset Building Coalition is offering FREE post-season tax help at taxesvarious locations between now and October 2015. For households with incomes up to $53,000, you can receive free preparation of your 2014 tax return, or for prior year taxes (up to 3 years back).

This service is especially important if you received tax credits to pay for health insurance in 2014 but have not yet filed your taxes. No matter what your income, if your received health insurance tax credits, you MUST file, or you will be ineligible for tax credits in 2016, and may have to repay the credits you received in 2015.

Please click here for a listing of locations, dates, and times for free tax help, or call 2-1-1 for more information. Most locations require an appointment.

When a disaster hits your community, you can help!

Thirty-five years ago today, on May 18, 1980, Mt. St. Helen’s erupted, causing 57 deaths and over a billion dollars in damage. As we remember this tragedy, how many of us today would be prepared to help when a disaster hits in our community?

Disaster Response Care Teams are one way that you can serve when a disaster hits.  Care Team members are volunteers who offer emotional and practical support to survivors of disasters during the response and recovery phases.

Care Team members:

  • Provide a Calming Presence
  • Help Connect Survivors to Resources
  • Identify Unmet Needs
  • Support Emergency Shelter Operations

If you’re a caring person who wants to serve, please join us on June 6, 2015, from 9-11 AM to learn more about Disaster Response Care Teams. The discussion and training will take place at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, 6800 East Side Dr NE, Tacoma.

Disaster Response Care Teams are offered in partnership with Pierce County Emergency Management, Associated Ministries, and Pierce County Citizen Corps. Thank you to St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church for hosting this conversation in support of the Browns Point community.

For more information: Please contact Amy Allison, amya@associatedministries.org or (253) 426-1516.

FREE Tax Help in Pierce County

Click here to find free tax services near you!

Each year, Pierce County Asset Building Coalition (PCABC) offers free tax preparation services throughout Pierce County, through VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance). These services are open to the public, with a special focus on households with incomes up to $53,000.

VITA provides free tax help offered by IRS-certified volunteers. Our goal is to make sure that taxpayers receive all the credits and deductions they qualify for. One of the most important is the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which can provide eligible lower income workers with up to an additional $6,143 in tax refunds. The IRS estimates that one in five eligible workers do not get the credit they have earned. If you earned less than $52,427 from wages or running a business or farm in 2014, you may qualify for the EITC. We want to encourage all those who are missing out to file and claim the credit.

Click here to find free tax services near you!

PCABC is a coalition of nonprofits, financial institutions, and government agencies, of which Associated Ministries is the lead partner.

Volunteer with VITA!

Help lift hard-working families out of poverty:  Volunteer with VITA! 

taxes Volunteer Income Tax Assistance

Click here to apply

– Each February to April, VITA helps low and moderate-income households through free tax preparation.

– In 2014, nearly 5,000 Pierce County households were helped by free tax sites.

– For many hardworking families, tax refunds provide a chance to catch up on bills and pay for their basic needs.

How can you help?

Volunteers may serve as: 1) Tax Preparers, who complete tax returns; 2) Quality Reviewers, who check returns for accuracy; 3) Site Coordinators, who oversee tax sites; 4) Greeters, who welcome clients; and 5) Interpreters, who translate for non-English speaking or hearing-impaired customers. No experience required, and free training is provided. VITA offers flexible hours (days, evenings and weekends) and locations throughout Pierce County. All VITA sites are IRS-approved.

Click here to apply today!

Questions? Contact Amy Allison, amya@associatedministries.org or (253) 426-1516.

Volunteer with VITA

Help lift hard-working families out of poverty:  Volunteer with VITA!

 

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance

Click here to apply

 

– Each February to April, VITA helps low and moderate-income households through free tax preparation.

– In 2014, about 5,000 Pierce County households were helped by free tax sites.

– For many hardworking families, tax refunds provide a chance to catch up on bills and pay for their basic needs.

How can you help?

Volunteers may serve as: 1) Tax Preparers, who complete tax returns; 2) Quality Reviewers, who check returns for accuracy; 3) Site Coordinators, who oversee tax sites; 4) Greeters, who welcome clients; and 5) Interpreters, who translate for non-English speaking or hearing-impaired customers.

No experience required, and free training is provided. VITA offers flexible hours (days, evenings and weekends) and locations throughout Pierce County. All VITA sites are IRS-approved.

Click here to apply today!

Questions? Contact Amy Allison,
amya@associatedministries.org or (253) 426-1516.

“Be a participant, not just an observer”: Volunteering at AM

“Be a participant, not just an observer,” urged Carol Mitchell, host of the City of Tacoma’s CityLine talk show, to her viewing audience on May 15, 2014. That day, two Associated Ministries’ staffers, Amy Allison, Director of Community Mobilization, and Wendy Morris, Volunteer Coordinator, appeared on the show to talk about important–and FUN–volunteer opportunities at AM. View the final 15 minutes for their segment.

Amy and Wendy highlighted the following ways to get involved:

•  Paint Tacoma-Pierce Beautiful, now entering its 30th year of painting houses for low-income homeowners in Tacoma and other areas of Pierce County. Volunteer groups and individuals are needed to paint 40 houses in Tacoma and 10 in Lakewood this summer. Volunteers may also serve in other capacities, such as bringing snacks and refreshments to paint crews, delivering supplies, or taking before and after photos.

•  Hunger Walk, AM’s annual event to raise funds for the Emergency Food Network and other hunger relief programs. Volunteers are needed over the next several months to help plan the October 5, 2014 event; to provide set-up, clean-up, registration, and many other tasks on the day of the Hunger Walk; and to help with record-keeping following the event.

•  Family Support Teams, small groups of 3 to 6 individuals who serve as mentors to families transitioning from homelessness to permanent housing. Caring individuals or groups are needed to walk alongside these families to help them maintain stable housing and thrive.

To learn more about how you can participate in these or other volunteer opportunities, watch the video (last segment), click here, or contact:

Wendy Morris, Volunteer Coordinator
(253) 383-3056, ext 117
wendym@associatedministries.org

Be ready to help in a disaster: spring Care Team training

The recent tragic events in Oso, Washington have made us all aware how vulnerable any of us could be to a local disaster. In such an event, it’s vitally important that neighbors be ready to lend a hand.

Associated Ministries’ Disaster Response Care Teams meet quarterly to learn how to provide practical and spiritual support to survivors of disasters.

Join us for our spring 2014 Quarterly Care Team Training & Potluck!

When: Tuesday April 22, 2014 6-8pm

Where: Chapel Hill Presbyterian Church
7700 Skansie Avenue, Gig Harbor, WA 98335

RSVP: Amy Allison at 253-426-1516 or
amya@associatedministries.org

Topics: Care Team Logistics: Structure and staff of the shelter, Relationship between Care Teams and other disaster service providers (DSAT and FAST), Registration/intake process, Alerting shelter staff of needs, Assisting in the “next steps” process, & Documentation.

Care Team trainings are held in partnership with Pierce County’s Department of Emergency Management, the Washington Community Chaplain Corps, and Associated Ministries.

 

Be a reason for hope this summer. Volunteer with Paint Beautiful!

Every summer, hundreds of people join in an annual tradition: Paint Tacoma-Pierce Beautiful! Friends, family members and volunteers work together to transform houses for their low-income, elderly and disabled neighbors in need. Through each step of the process—pressure washing, scraping, priming and painting—these efforts help to:

● Maintain affordable housing ● Eliminate blight ● Increase community connections
● Make our neighborhoods more beautiful!

Volunteers have painted more than 2,100 homes in Pierce County since 1985. We plan to paint 50 houses in Tacoma and Lakewood during the summer of 2014. Join us and become a reason for hope!

Learn more and sign up to volunteer at this link – click on the “Volunteer” tab.

 

Know a house that needs a paint job? We can help!

With spring here, we’re gearing up to paint some houses!

Since 1985, AM’s Paint Tacoma-Pierce Beautiful program has provided FREE exterior house painting to more than 2,100 low and moderate income homeowners. Homeowners pay nothing because volunteers supply the labor and we provide the paint.

If you, or someone you know, could use a paint job, please apply!

Learn more and download an application by clicking here, or call (253) 426-1516. Deadline: April 30, 2015.

Qualifications:

• House must be located in the City of Tacoma or City of Lakewood

• Home must be owner-occupied (no rentals) and not in foreclosure

• Household must be income-eligible (see application for HUD income guidelines)

Learn more and download an application by clicking here, or call (253) 426-1516.

1 2