Volunteers Needed to Help Working Families with Tax Preparation
Volunteers are needed to offer free tax preparation to help working families receive the federal and state tax credits they are eligible for. No previous experience is required and training is provided.
In tax year 2014, 230 volunteers provided free income tax preparation for low- to moderate-income families as part of the Money in Your Pocket (MIYP) campaign, a community collaboration of organizations committed to the economic stability of local families. Nationally the effort is known as the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, or VITA. Volunteers filed 5,246 tax returns, resulting in more than $5.2 million returned to local families. This helped individuals and families increase their income by an average of six percent.
The Money in Your Pocket campaign received financial support from the PNC Foundation, the Walmart Foundation and the U.S. Department of Treasury, Internal Revenue Service.
United Way of the Capital Region's 2015 Day of Service
On Friday, October 16 more than 250 federal employees will volunteer at nonprofits throughout Cumberland and Dauphin counties for United Way of the Capital Region’s third annual Federal Day of Service.
Volunteers will complete more than 25 projects including painting, landscaping, preparing a meal for a local shelter and cleaning up a historic cemetery.
Special thanks to Capital BlueCross for sponsoring this year’s Federal Day of Service.
Nearly 1,600 Volunteers Unite to Enhance Our Community for Day of Caring
Nearly 1,600 volunteers helped kick off United Way of the Capital Region’s 2015 campaign on September 11 by participating in the 23rd annual Day of Caring sponsored by PNC Bank.
Volunteers from more than 76 companies worked on 130 projects including indoor and outdoor cleanup, painting, landscaping and the installation of smoke alarms in neighborhoods throughout Harrisburg.
“The United Way and its partner organizations are making a positive and measurable impact on the lives of Capital region residents,” said Jim Hoehn, PNC regional president in Central Pennsylvania and United Way of the Capital Region board member. “PNC is committed to helping improve the health, vitality and economic stability of the communities we serve. In addition to our longstanding sponsorship of Day of Caring activities, we have a strong presence at the day's events which reflects our employees’ personal investment in strengthening our local communities.”
United Way of the Capital Region also announced a 2015 campaign goal of $11.1 million during a breakfast for Day of Caring volunteers.
WLN and Bridges Society Event Highlights
Members of United Way of the Capital Region’s Women’s Leadership Network (WLN) and Bridges Society recently enjoyed two fantastic and engaging events.
WLN’s August Conversations With Women Who Make a Difference luncheon featured Dr. Sybil Knight-Burney, superintendent of the Harrisburg School District. Dr. Knight-Burney shared her inspiring insight on the tools and values that women use to live of life of purpose. WLN members also heard Kathy Anderson Martin and Damali Brunson talk about The Salvation Army Harrisburg Capital City Region’s nutrition program. View photos from the WLN August Conversations With Women Who Make a Difference luncheon.
Bridges Society members shared what they aspire for our community during an exclusive networking event at The Millworks in Harrisburg. Members also had the opportunity to enjoy local sustainable food while mingling with local artists at the walkthrough gallery. View photos from the Bridges Society Networking Event at the Millworks.
United Way Cornerstone Partners
Launched six years ago, United Way of the Capital Region’s Cornerstone Partners program is the only one of its kind in the state, and it is a shining example of generosity in action.
Fourteen of the organization’s largest corporate contributors help underwrite United Way of the Capital Region’s administrative and fundraising costs (13 percent). We also receive support from perpetual trusts and investment income to help provide this program.
As a result, 100 percent of the money United Way of the Capital Region raises and distributes from individual donors in the Capital Region is directed to programs and services that make a difference in our community. This program is popular among donors of all giving levels.
Thank you to our Cornerstone Partners:
What do we aspire for the Capital Region? Recently, our United Way has been asking this question of ourselves and our friends and neighbors. We’re finding that our vision for the community is far more similar than different. We all want a strong and vibrant region where everyone has the resources they need for a good life.
Think about what it takes to have a quality life. Good health for you and your family, steady income that provides stability, education for a better future and the knowledge that if an emergency happens, you have some place to turn. Health, education, income and basic needs - this is what we call the building blocks for a better life.
Last year, our United Way began changing the way to do work because we want to help more people achieve these building blocks. We want to work together as a community to address the root causes of an issue before they grow into problems. We understand that no one organization can solve the problems in our region, but together we can develop lasting solutions.
United Way Identifies Areas of Focus, Embarks on Second Phase of Strategic Vision
United Way of the Capital Region recently completed the first phase of its strategic vision. As part of this effort, our board of directors recently approved critical areas of focus to drive our work for the coming years. These include:
- Education – Disparities in school readiness and school achievement.
- Health – Lack of access to health care.
- Income – Children and families living in poverty.
- Basic Needs – Increase in the number of families needing safety net services.
United Way of the Capital Region determined these areas after a year-long community assessment process with six partner organizations. “Life in the Capital Region: 2014 Assessment of Our Community” examined the changing demographics and health and human service needs through the lens of health, education, income and basic needs.
Life in the Capital Region: 2014 Assessment of Our Community
For the last five years, there has been a steady increase in the demand for health and human service programs in the Capital Region. To identify and understand the needs in our community, United Way of the Capital Region formed a partnership with the Harrisburg Regional Chamber, Perry County, West Shore Chamber of Commerce, Cumberland County, Dauphin County and The Foundation for Enhancing Communities. Throughout 2014, this partnership conducted a comprehensive assessment of life in our community, which captured data about trends in health and human service needs, as well as community perceptions about issues facing the Capital Region. The result is a unique and comprehensive look at our community.
“Life in the Capital Region: 2014 Assessment of Our Community,” was released on March 5, 2015.