March 2016

A big thanks to the many members of ASCEND at IU who volunteer with the Free Community Tax Service.
Volunteers Extend Tax Help Across Community 
As graduate students at IU, Alicia Wen, Serena Zhong, and Yanqi Chen are not just attending classes. By volunteering their time to file taxes for free, they are using their skills and education to make a big impact on the community. 

Alicia, Serena, and Yanqi are volunteering as mobile site coordinators through United Way for the Free Community Tax Service. In this role, they meet with clients and help them file their taxes, ensuring that these low-to-moderate-income taxpayers don't overlook credits that can give them larger refunds.

"It is really meaningful to me to see people get so happy to learn about their tax returns," Alicia said. "An extra $3,000 can change their lives."

Although there are nine Free Community Tax Service locations throughout the community, the mobile sites better serve people who may have limited access to tax help. By taking this free tax service into the community, it serves people with disabilities, transportation difficulties, or language challenges, in a setting they know and trust. 

"These three women are dedicated, intelligent, and wonderful site coordinators," said Jamie Kuzemka, United Way Community Initiatives Director. "They manage their sites on the weekends and continue to volunteer hours throughout the week to other tax responsibilities."

High School + Career Help at Your Fingertips

"I love the local-ness of the website!" 

"The crisis feature is quick and useful."

"I like the fun facts you have. Specifically the percentages that went with one of my scenarios!"

These are just a few things community members have said about the Roadmap to Success website since United Way and the Chamber of Commerce launched it last October. So far, the Roadmap has connected over 730 people to the resources they need to ensure all students complete high school and can map the next step in their career.

The Roadmap to Success tailors a list of suggestions to each person who uses it. The easy-to-navigate site begins by asking questions, which build on one another. Based on the user's responses, relevant information is compiled into a resource page that can be saved via email. Users can also browse all resources, which are categorized based on their specific needs. 

Thanks to New Real Men Read Sponsors

Thanks to our first 2016-2017 Real Men Read sponsors for helping this United Way early-literacy program continue into the coming school year! Their support will provide books to kindergarteners in local schools as well as training and support for the volunteers who inspire them to read, learn, and grow.

Owen County Community Foundation's Library level donation of $2,500 will fully support three classrooms with books and volunteers for an entire year.

Boston Scientific's Book level sponsorship of $1,000 will provide over 300 new books to kindergarteners.

Don't miss your chance to become a Real Men Read sponsor and help grow a love of reading. The extended sponsorship deadline is March 30th.
Campaign Highlights

We are in the home stretch of our annual campaign, but there is still time to donate or hold a workplace campaign! Join the individuals, local businesses, and organizations working to help us meet our $1.3M fundraising goal to provide much-needed support to our 25 member agencies.

Thanks to our generous donors, as of today we are at 98.5% of our fundraising goal with $1,281,083 in donations! 

We're so close to reaching goal. In the next few weeks, we'll be making agency grants that will determine how much food, shelter, and medical care our community is able to provide this coming year for children, seniors, and families struggling to make ends meet.

Please join us NOW to make sure people working to help themselves have the support they need to grow, thrive, and succeed.

Thanks to these organizations for their active commitment to our community:

General Motors is revving up our community through $6,327 in generous donations. 

Great West Casualty Company is ensuring the community's access to education, earnings stability, and the essentials by increasing their giving for the second year in a row, raising $7,746 for this year's campaign.

Hoosier Energy is powering positive change in local lives through $5,274 in employee and corporate contributions. 

MainSource Bank is improving the financial stability of local residents with $2,848 in corporate and individual donations.

It's not too late to have a campaign at your workplace. Want to see how you can help people grow, succeed, unite, and thrive right here in our community?  Contact Resource Development Director Sarah Taylor by email or call her at (812) 334-8370.

Upcoming Events

Free Community Tax Service
Now - April 16
9 Locations in Monroe & Owen counties
File your taxes for FREE and receive 100% of your refund quickly and easily.

March 23
Bloomington-Monroe County Convention Center
Lunch to recognize accomplishments of women in our community. 
United Way is a proud sponsor  
March 29
Buskirk-Chumley Theater
A celebration honoring community volunteers.
United Way is a proud sponsor  

April 10
United Way is a proud sponsor  

April 10
Waldron, Hill, and Buskirk Park
Community event and walk to raise support for local agencies that address homeless needs.
United Way is proud to be the fiscal sponsor   

April 15
Annual worldwide celebration of the contributions of young volunteers to their communities.
United Way is a proud sponsor 

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United WayUnited Way of Monroe County is a nonprofit organization that improves people's lives by addressing critical needs today and working to reduce those needs tomorrow. Through our Community Action Fund, Priority Funds, and grant initiatives, we work with 25 member agencies and other community partners to focus resources on the building blocks for a better life: education, earnings, and the essentials.
441 S. College Ave, Bloomington, IN 47403 | (812) 334-8370