Volunteer Tax Preparers Help Local Residents Collect More than $1.3 Million in Refunds

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Throughout tax season, Community Action Planning Council offered free income tax preparation to low to moderate income households.  Basic tax preparation services were made available by a dedicated group of IRS-certified volunteers.  In total, volunteers prepared 935 federal and 898 state tax returns, helping local residents collect $1,344,247 in refunds and Earned Income Tax Credits.  The service was offered at locations throughout Jefferson County, including Community Action Planning Council, Ives Hill Retirement Community, Clayton Paynter Center, Carthage American Legion, Adams Village Municipal Building and Henderson Free Library.

On the morning of April 27, Community Action staff, board members, and local dignitaries gathered at Hilton Garden Inn for a special celebration of the good work of tax preparation volunteers.   The volunteers were presented with certificates of appreciation from the Internal Revenue Service, Senator Patty Ritchie, Assemblyman Kenneth Blankenbush, and Assemblywoman Addie Russell.

During the program, Watertown City Councilmember Joseph Butler thanked the volunteers for their service to the community.  Several volunteers expressed great satisfaction in helping those who can least afford to pay for tax preparation services.  It was noted that the combined experience of tax preparation volunteers totals 102 years.

Group Photo

Pictured, back row, from left: Gisele Young, Peter Benson, Evelyn Peckham, John Irwin, Henry Watkins, Bob Ashodian.  Front row: Mike Geiss, Anna Boyanski, Barbara Greene.  Not present for the photo: Renee Dougall and Yvonne Barr.

Success Skills Abound at BOCES

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Earlier today, we entered a classroom at Jefferson-Lewis BOCES where we were warmly greeted by a group of community-minded students.  A sign hanging on the classroom wall promoted “Success Skills.”  It wasn’t long before we realized that these students truly exemplify the skills for success: communication, teamwork, professionalism, hard work and dedication.  The Skills USA students at Jefferson-Lewis BOCES collected food, personal care items, vegetable seeds and cash in support of Community Action’s programs for low-income families.  To encourage donations, students created posters, spoke publicly about the need in the local community and knocked on doors.  Their efforts paid off, as they collected 5,725 items and $250 in support of Community Action.  They even loaded the truck!

Special thanks to Kellie Sherm, Monica Hosley and Sarah Maphey for coordinating the drive.  And thanks to all those enrolled in the Skills USA Program at Jefferson-Lewis BOCES for making a difference in the community and for inspiring others to do the same.  Great work!


BOCES Skills USA Students Food Drive Apr 14 2015

Pictured, from left: Tyler Clark, Angel Dillon, Brianna Augustus, Brandi Denton, Tom Ennis, Cody Lilley, Kellie Sherm, Todd Thompson, Monica Hosley, Mary Hoistion of CAPC, and Sarah Maphey.

Community Action to Host Discussion About Poverty

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Community Action is hosting a discussion about issues relating to poverty on April 29, 2015, 5:00 to 7:00 PM at Community Action Planning Council, located at 518 Davidson Street, Watertown.  The event, entitled Community Action Voices, is part of a comprehensive community needs assessment that the agency periodically conducts to evaluate how well the services available at Community Action align with the specific needs of the local community.

Members of the Community Action Planning Council Board of Directors will facilitate the group discussion, encouraging low-income residents of Jefferson County to talk about the challenges of living on a fixed income.  Participants will also be asked to share ideas for improving services that alleviate poverty.

There is no cost to attend.  The event includes dinner, door prizes and friendly conversation.   All are welcome … to share or to listen.  Reservations required.  For more information about Community Action Voices or to confirm attendance, please contact Dawn Cole at 315.782.4900, extension 250.

Come, let your voice be heard and help build a stronger Community Action Agency.  Together, we are Community Action!

Community Action Voices April 29 2015