United Way volunteer opportunities

Published 9:24 am Thursday, December 13, 2018

Love Numbers? Become an IRS-certified tax preparer through VITA!

Do you love numbers and want to volunteer with the single most effective program to help move people out of poverty? This holiday season sign up for VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance), the volunteer opportunity that makes an impact all year round.

By offering free tax return preparation to low- and moderate-income households, the VITA program ensures that individuals and families receive all tax benefits for which they are eligible, most importantly the Earned Income Tax Credit. The EITC is a refundable tax credit for low- and moderate-income working taxpayers and has been recognized as the single most powerful tool to lift children out of poverty in the United States. Depending on income and number of household members, the EITC can increase a family’s annual income by as much as 50 percent.

Volunteer as often as you like for at least four hours a week, over a 10-week period, with a five-week minimum commitment, to make a lasting impact in our community. United Way will provide all training to become an IRS-certified tax preparer. Sign up now at uwsm.org/volunteer.

Go Girls Go! Berrien, Van Buren, Cass, St. Joseph Co.

The Girls on the Run 5K is a non-competitive event celebrating the culmination of the Girls on the Run 2019 spring program. This year, girls (8-14 years of age) will participate with their coaches, friends, family, teachers and community members on May 31. With the help of volunteer coaches, the girls learn about self-respect and healthy living over the course of the 10-week program. As girls come together to achieve their goals on 5K day, they will depend on volunteers to help them have a safe and meaningful experience! Learn more at uwsm.org/volunteer.

Bicycle lovers needed

Cycle-Re-Cycle in Benton Harbor needs volunteers to rebuild and repair bicycles (and will teach people who don’t know how), wait on customers, work in bicycle programs with children, teach classes to adults, staff the office, do fundraising and publicity, and other tasks. Volunteer at uwsm.org/volunteer.

Registered Nurse needed at Niles-Buchanan YMCA

The YMCA of Southwest Michigan is in need of a Registered Nurse willing to volunteer at “Just For You Night Out” to help provide minor medical assistance, if needed, for special needs participants who may not otherwise be able to participate.

“Just for You Night Out” is a Saturday evening (on various dates in the coming year) at the YMCA designed for individuals ages 16 and up with special needs. Participants will come for an evening of swimming and physical activity, plus a great chance to forge lasting friendships. A healthy snack and dinner are included.

Personal medical information and emergency contact information will be collected for each participant. You may even want to swim with the participants, so bring a swim suit!

Register at uwsm.org/volunteer.

Self-Help Legal Resource Center Niles volunteer

The Self-Help Legal Resource Center helps those from a wide range of backgrounds who all have one thing in common: they all need help navigating the legal system. Some patrons need as little assistance as handing them a form and others may need to be walked through the whole case filing process.

Volunteers will assist patrons by explaining the resources available and provide appropriate legal information. This position requires extensive knowledge of court processes and procedures, particularly family, civil and personal protection order filings, to direct patrons to the appropriate forms and instruction materials. Volunteers will be trained to learn this information!

Learn more at uwsm.org/volunteer.