It almost feels wrong, receiving a national award and celebrating our VITA program success, when so many people across our state are battling floods. But timing is what it is. Last week Rachael Milne and I were delighted and pleased to accept the National Community Tax Coalition's Affiliate Innovation Award (http://tax-coalition.org) on behalf of MCUCD, our volunteers, and our partners across the state.
I'm not going to lie...giving an acceptance speech in Chicago to over 400 people was a little overwhelming! But that didn't stop us from...shall I say... gushing about our amazing volunteers and partners.
It would be nice to sit back, relax, and enjoy the success. But that's not how Montanans do things, is it...there's always important work to be done. This month we are busy writing a grant to the IRS for funds to help us improve efficiencies and increase reach of free tax preparation across Montana. We're sharing resources available to flood victims, thanks to MSU Extension. And if you're lucky enough to not be battling flooding, you'll find helpful tips to travel safe and smart during your vacations this summer.
MCUCD Receives the National Community Tax Coalition's Affiliate Innovation Award
MCUCD was awarded the National Community Tax Coalition's (NCTC) Affiliate Innovation Award last week at the NCTC conference. NCTC is the nation's largest, most comprehensive membership organization for community-based organizations offering free tax and financial services to low-income working families.
The Affiliate Innovation Award recognizes extraordinary innovation in the community tax preparation field. MCUCD competed against eight other community tax sites from across the nation. Our Remote Quality Review process was awarded for its innovation in providing quality review and support to VITA volunteers at our rural credit union tax sites. This is a process by which MCUCD staff and Quality Review volunteers are able to remotely log into the computers of VITA volunteers at credit union tax sites and perform a review of a completed return and answer volunteer and taxpayer questions. Many thanks to our wonderful volunteers and partners who this award would not be possible without!
(L-R) Accepting the award, Jeanne Saarinen is joined on stage with past MCUCD VISTA Members Cait Allen and Carin McClain along with MCUCD VITA Manager Rachael Milne.
The page also includes several video instructions on such things as how to build a sandbag dike to what to do when you return to your flooded home.
Another valuable resource is the Recovery After Disaster: The Family Financial Toolkit made available by the University of Minnesota Extension. The toolkit discusses strategies and provides tools that can help individuals and families move along the road towards financial recovery. The tools provided in the toolkit are designed to help families make decisions that are best for their family. This toolkit is designed so that those financially impacted by a disaster can utilize the individual units or use the entire toolkit as their situation requires.
MCUCD will focus on providing additional tools and resources on this topic during July. Watch for more information on our Topic of the Month page and our weekly tips at www.montanacreditunions.coop.
Consumer Topic of the Month
Travel Safe and Smart This Summer
A slow economy does not have to hamper travel plans this summer. Travel tips and alternative solutions could save money as well as a vacation period from being cancelled. Make sure to stop by the MCUCD website this month for tips that could save you money and protect your while traveling.