Jean found MEDA an inspiring place doing great work in the community, so she went home each day after volunteering being grateful for the opportunity to finally pay it forward.
Jean’s story is mirrored by 120 other volunteers that helped almost 3,500 families get over $5.3 million in refunds in 2014, all at zero cost to clients via MEDA’s Free Tax Preparation program. While it was an investment of Jean’s time, the investment in her community made the experience priceless.
“We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community. Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.”
— Cesar Chavez
Stepping through the welcoming doors of Plaza Adelante, MEDA’s neighborhood center, promises to be a rewarding experience for any volunteer.
It is a way of improving the lives of financially challenged Mission residents.
Take the story of one client, Carlos, who had come to the United States from Mexico as an 18-year-old in search of a better life. The now 41-year-old found himself facing imminent deportation, despite his having lived in this country for the majority of his life. His lawyer suggested Carlos do years of back taxes as proof he had been in the U.S. for a while. Such a volume of tax preparation would normally be cost prohibitive. In one grueling day, MEDA’s Max Moy-Borgen and volunteer Granger Tripp got the job done, with both knowing their efforts had made a difference for someone in the community who was in need. (Read full story).
Volunteering on the 2015 MEDA Tax Volunteer Team is also the perfect way to improve one’s skills.
Volunteers are given the opportunity to learn tax law and the latest in tax software, plus refine customer-service skills. This type of experiential learning is invaluable.
All volunteers who pass the IRS Basic Certification exam receive a certificate from the IRS upon completion of the program. Plus, volunteering is a great addition to a resume.
“If every American donated five hours a week,
it would equal the labor of twenty million full-time volunteers.”
— Whoopi Goldberg
“I look forward to seeing new faces of volunteers once tax season arrives. We would not have the capacity to do so many low-income families’ tax returns were it not for the cadre of volunteers at MEDA,” explains Max Moy-Borgen, Tax Program Manager.