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United Way brings AmeriCorps NCCC members to northern Nevada to help with taxes and Children

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A team of 11 AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) Members have partnered with the United Way of Northern Nevada and the Sierra (UWNNS) and the Boys & Girls Club of Truckee Meadows to assist northern Nevadans with their taxes, as well as assisting area children through the end of February.

The team will spend their mornings serving at UWNNS helping to expand the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program to ensure people in the community get the tax credits due them. . VITA is a free tax filing service for people with less than $50,000 in yearly income. The NCCC members will be trained and certified by the IRS. VITA sites are an important way for low-income working families to learn about and access the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Each year, thousands of low-income Nevadans miss out on the EITC because they don’t know they qualify or don’t know how to claim the credit. In 2011, UWNNS’s 10 VITA locations (there are now currently 12 locations) helped 2,389 individuals to receive more than $3.1 million in total income tax refunds.

In the afternoons, the team will spend their time at the Boys & Girls Club doing a variety of different projects. They will be helping with club members, doing outreach for the Club to increase public awareness, and working on education. The Boys & Girls Club offers before- and after-school programming for 6-18 year olds, for a fee of only $20 annually.

AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps) is a full-time, team-based residential program for men and women age 18–24. The mission of AmeriCorps NCCC is to strengthen communities and develop leaders through direct, team-based national and community service. Drawn from the successful models of the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s and the U.S. military, AmeriCorps NCCC is built on the belief that civic responsibility is an inherent duty of all citizens and that national service programs work effectively with local communities to address pressing needs.

“Our projects in Reno mean so much to me because we’re able to share our time and efforts with so many deserving youth and families,” said Corps Member Phillip Thomas Dukes.

AmeriCorps NCCC is a full-time, residential, national service program in which 1,200 young adults serve nationwide each year. During their 10-month term, Corps Members – all 18 to 24 years old – work on teams of eight to 12 on projects that address critical needs related to natural and other disasters, infrastructure improvement, environmental stewardship and conservation, energy conservation, and urban and rural development. Members work on a series of different projects, typically lasting six to eight weeks each, to mentor students, construct and rehabilitate low-income housing, respond to natural disasters, clean up streams, help communities develop emergency plans, and address countless other local needs. The Pacific Region campus in Sacramento is one of five regional hubs in the United States and serves ten states in the western part of the country, as well as territories of Guam and American Samoa. The other campuses are located in Denver, Colo.; Vicksburg, Miss.; Perry Point, Md; and Vinton, Iowa.

In exchange for their service, Corps Members receive $5,550 to help pay for college, or to pay back existing student loans. Other benefits include a small living stipend, room and board, leadership development, increased self-confidence, and the knowledge that, through active citizenship, people can indeed make a difference. AmeriCorps NCCC is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service. The Corporation improves lives, strengthens communities, and fosters civic engagement through service and volunteering. For more information about AmeriCorps NCCC, visit the website at www.americorps.gov/nccc.

About United Way of Northern Nevada and the Sierra

The foundation that nurtures and supports healthy lives is made up of three, interconnected ‘building blocks’ – education, financial stability and health. United Way is ideally suited to create positive, lasting change by addressing all three areas as one – through proper expertise, capacity and relationships. Join us! Bring your passion, knowledge and resources to get things done all across our community. We all win when a child succeeds in school, when a neighborhood turns around and when workers have solid jobs. For more information, call 775-322-8668 or visit www.uwnns.org.

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