And now from our new Community Connections VISTA team member, Charlotte Gavell, whose first day with us as a VISTA was spent scavenger hunting and visiting a United Way Free Tax Prep site. We’re so excited for her journey in with us in Volunteers In Service To America. You’ll be hearing from her and her fellow VISTA’s as they share with us their experience in joining us in the fight against poverty.
Hi, I’m Charlotte and am from the East Coast! Since I’m so new to Seattle, the VISTA scavenger hunt put on by United Way my first day was a great introduction to this city for me. It was also a great way for me to meet other VISTAs I’ll be working closely with.
I just moved here from New York City where I was a nanny for my baby niece, which I started doing after graduating from Saint Michael’s College right outside of Burlington, Vermont. After being so involved with that community, it was nice to see some of Seattle and to interact with inspiring people who are working hard to make this community better. One of the reasons I moved here was to meet new people who share my interest in social justice. ✓ and done.
Next on the days list was to visit one of United Way of King County’s programs, the Free Tax Prep Program. There are locations set up all over King County to help anyone below a certain income level file their taxes. Find their hours, locations and languages by zip code here.
Michaele, a tax site supervisor, brought my group up to the Seattle Public Library tax site and gave us a tour. We got there a little bit before opening and the waiting area was already full! There were people from all walks of life, which showed the diversity of the people this program reaches.
What was really awesome to see was the number of volunteers who come out every day to assist people in filing their taxes. There are over 1,000 volunteers for Free Tax Campaign. Michaele explained to us that they really go above and beyond to not only provide tax help but also share their resources with clients, which establishes a great sense of community. An all around great first day.
Interested what other VISTA’s are doing? Check out their posts.