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United Way of South Texas Recognizes Outstanding VITA Sponsors & Volunteers

May 23, 2024

The United Way Board of Directors proudly recognized Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program Volunteers, Sponsors, and Site Partners at the 2024 VITA Awards Ceremony. The VITA program offers free income tax preparation services to individuals and households with an annual income of $60,000 or less (a predetermined income level set by the IRS annually).

VITA volunteers prepared tax returns for 3,137 families, saving them $941,100 in preparation fees. As of April, the families received a combined refund of $4.9 million. United Way financial stability staff and volunteers will continue to see clients and expect to prepare several hundred more tax returns before the end of the year. Families contribute to our local economy by investing tax refunds in savings accounts, tuition, medical bills, home improvements, and more. VITA volunteers also assist clients across multiple counties including Hidalgo, Starr, Cameron, and Brooks, as well as hundreds of Winter Texans.

Annette Garcia, Region One Retiree, and United Way Board Member, presented the prestigious VITA Site Coordinator of the Year Award to Yasmin Flores. For the past four years, she has generously dedicated her time and efforts to serve as a VITA Site Coordinator, successfully managing six sites during the 2024 tax season. Ms. Flores played a key role in ensuring the success of the training season by supervising volunteers and providing them with essential training and support.

This year, approximately 150 IRS volunteers, including high school and college students, as well as retired professionals, completed Advanced Tax Preparer Certification training to participate in the program. These individuals met with taxpayers and filed their tax returns, ensuring accuracy and efficiency. The following schools provided VITA volunteers: Monte Alto I.S.D., PSJA I.S.D. – Ballew School of Business & Energy, Roma I.S.D. – Roma High School, Vanguard Academy – Beethoven Secondary Campus, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV), South Texas College (STC) McAllen and Mid-Valley Campuses, and McAllen I.S.D. – Lamar Academy.

 The United Way of South Texas Board would like to express their utmost gratitude to the following companies for their generous sponsorship of the VITA Program: Frost Bank, H-E-B, Lone Star National Bank, Magic Valley Electric Cooperative, PNC Bank, Security Service Federal Credit Union, U.S. Internal Revenue Service, Vantage Bank and Wells Fargo Bank. The Board also thanks the following Site Partners for providing their facilities: Calvary Baptist Church, City of McAllen – Lark Library and Palmview Library, City of Mission – Speer Memorial Library, City of Rio Grande City – City Hall, Goodwill Industries, McAllen I.S.D. – Lamar Academy, PSJA I.SD. – T. Jefferson T-STEM Early College High School and Bowie Elementary, Roma I.S.D. – Roma High School, South Texas College – McAllen and Mid-Valley Campuses, Vanguard Academy Beethoven Secondary, and UTRGV. The United Way of South Texas offers VITA services to eligible clients throughout the year. To schedule an appointment, please call 956-686-6331.