Talk about a return investment. More than 4,000 hours were spent at nonprofit Volunteer Connections of Central Alabama (VCCA) looking at thousands of federal and state tax returns from January to May this year and $1,553,321 was returned to Tallapoosa County residents, according to director Carley Cummins.
“We are one of three free tax sites in the state of Alabama that does not close (after tax season),” Cummins said.
VCCA was incorporated under the name RSVP in 1997.
VCCA helps seniors with taxes, basic computer classes, Medicare enrollment and Lunch and Learn sessions where guest speakers educate them on how to be prepared for emergencies and be crime aware. The most recent Lunch and Learn featured the Tallapoosa County Sheriff’s Department teaching seniors about scams.
The organization also partners with Head Start programs for a family reading program. It provides free books to families and encourages reading to preschoolers.
The volunteers are all certified and help seniors save money. One time, a volunteer discovered a couple was overpaying $12,000 a year for prescription drugs due to their Medicare Part D insurance coverage. The couple did not know it had the option to change plans every year and was enrolled in a better Medicare Part D plan that saved them money, according to Cummins.
The organization’s tax program is funded by the Lake Martin Area United Way, which it needs to continue its services, according to Cummins.
“Although we do get grants we need the supplemental income we get from United Way,” Cummins said. “That’s how we function. We couldn’t function without it. We would have closed the doors a long time ago.”
For more information, visit Volunteer Connections of Central Alabama on Facebook.