MassDevelopment has issued a $1 million loan to the Worcester Community Action Council, Inc. (WCAC), an agency that offers a wide range of education, employment, and social service programs throughout 45 communities in Central Massachusetts. WCAC is currently in the process of converting the facility into classroom space for its Head Start program for South Central Worcester County. WCAC has received $1.7 million in federal and state grants for building renovations and has raised over $500,000 in capital campaign contributions for the project. The organization will use proceeds of the MassDevelopment loan to complete the proposed renovations and improvements. Read the full story here.
WCAC’s Head Start program will host its annual Multicultural Night on Thursday, April 27, 2017 from 4-7 p.m. A highlight of the evening is sure to be a performance by the Southeast Asian Coalition’s Worcester Youth Nian Dancers. The performance is supported in part by a grant by the Southbridge Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency. Click here for more details.
Worcester Community Action Council recently hosted a thank you reception for its Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program volunteers. This year’s group logged 620 volunteer hours, preparing a total of 895 returns (up over 710 returns prepared in 2014) and generating over $1.5 million dollars in refunds (up over the $1,060,100 generated in 2014). Special thanks to the team of volunteers from UNUM, pictured above with WCAC Board Chair and UNUM Senior VP Steve Joseph, which has been a strong supporter of the VITA program.
WCAC participates in the VITA program through the Worcester Free Tax Service Coalition which works to promote free tax preparation services available to individuals and families who qualify. IRS-certified volunteers prepare taxes and specifically look for tax credits the household may be eligible for, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Child Tax Credit (CTC) and other credits. Some households with children are eligible for tax refunds of over $6,000. Utilizing the free tax preparation services allows families to retain their full refund, avoiding typical preparation fees which can often run into the hundreds of dollars.
WCAC recently welcomed four new members to its Board of Directors. The new faces bring strong community connections, diverse skills to agency. Read full story here.
With a new name, the Worcester Free Tax Service Coalition (formerly the Worcester Earned Income Tax Credit Coalition) renews its commitment to maximizing refund benefits for low to moderate income families. An information session for local organizations working with those who may benefit from the free tax preparation services the coalition provides is planned for December 9th. Read full story here.
As the temperatures begin to drop, programs really heat up at WCAC. From our annual Coat Drive for Kids, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (fuel assistance), and a special holiday happening at the Hanover Theatre, read all about it here.
WCAC launched a new electronic newsletter to educate the community about the many programs the agency manages, to encourage public advocacy for the issues which impact limited-income individuals and families, and to motivate the support of our neighbors. Features in the inaugural edition include Head Start Works, LIHEAP records set, A Push for Priorities, and a preview of the Summer YouthWorks program. View the Enewsletter here.
Worcester Community Action Council hosted its annual Legislative Breakfast and was pleased to have the strong support of so many of our colleagues in the Massachusetts State Senate and House of Representatives.