When Noemi Chi-Moran moved back to San Francisco last year, she settled into her Excelsior neighborhood home and starting looking for ways to give back. Combining her altruism and a fluency in Spanish, Noemi decided to try preparing taxes for free for the Latino low-income community. When she learned that MEDA did VITA work at four sites in the city — and with a primarily Latino clientele — she knew this was the perfect spot for her to volunteer for the three-month tax season.
That’s when Noemi started making another home for herself, this time at MEDA’s Plaza Adelante, spending three days a week with four-hour shifts. Noemi appreciated the flexibility with her schedule offered by MEDA.
The hardworking volunteer definitely showcased results: Noemi prepared an amazing 96 returns for community members. The returns varied in complexity, with the majority 1040s; however, there was one more-complicated return because a taxpayer had sold stock in 2017.
Noemi found her volunteering experience at MEDA rewarding. She actually enjoys doing taxes, and she says it felt good to give back as she honed her skills.
Noemi explains, “I love making people happy by educating them that their entire income would not be taxed — a common misconception. I explained that there are write-offs for dependents and that there is an Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), plus a standard deduction and personal exemption.”
Her volunteer experience and interaction with clients has also helped Noemi better her communication skills. This is a transferable skill to one’s personal life and in the workforce.
Noemi is one of a cadre of volunteers — around 150, actually — who made this another remarkable tax season. MEDA served 4,400 community members, with around $5 million returned via free tax preparation in San Francisco.
“I had fun this tax season. I always smiled when I got home,”: sums up Noemi.
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