Cass District Library to serve as United Way VITA site

Published 11:41 am Thursday, January 30, 2020

CASSOPOLIS — For many, tax season can be a confusing and stressful time.

In Cass County, two local organizations have partnered to help guide those who may be struggling through the tax process this season. 

Starting the first of next month, the Cass District Library, 319 M-62, Cassopolis, will serve as a location for United Way of Southwest Michigan’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, which offers free tax help to those who make $56,000 or less and need help in preparing their basic returns.

VITA program volunteers will be at the Cass District Library from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 1, Feb. 15, Feb. 29, March 14, March 28 and April 4. Currently, February appointments at the Cass District Library are full, but there are still appointments available in March and April.

Appointments can be made by calling United Way’s 211 number or (844) 875-9211. Once an appointment is made, a letter with the appointment date and time, along with further instructions, will be sent to the client. More information can also be found at

Last year, United Way of Southwest Michigan served more than 400 individuals through their VITA program. At the Cass District Library alone, the VITA program assisted more than 50 individuals with their federal income tax forms and more than 70 with their state tax income returns, according to Sara Barlow, project coordinator for United Way.

“It affords individuals who don’t have a lot of access to financial resources to get free tax help from qualified, caring volunteers who have their best interests in mind and are trying to get them back the most amount possible,” Barlow said. “This helps expedite the process and helps them get their taxes filed, as all Americans must do, at no cost.”

Cass District Library Director Barbara Gordon said she is happy to see the library once again serve as a site for the VITA program this tax season, seeing it as an extension of the library’s mission to connect residents with the resources they need.

“I think this is a real need in the community,” Gordon said. “I think this is another really good example of public libraries really standing up and connecting people in the community with social services, which is a modern function of public libraries.”

Outside of the VITA program, Gordon said library employees would be available this tax season to help residents find and print the forms they need and to answer basic reference questions.

Whether attending a VITA program appointment or getting a questioned answered from a circulation representative, Gordon said she would encourage people to visit the library this tax season.

“I would say people should always feel free to reach out to the library if they need help or have questions,” Gordon said. “We are here to help people.”