V is for volunteers going above and beyond!

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VISTAs working with the VITA Program in Laredo, Texas have much they can consider a success. In this current year they have helped implement major changes to the program’s structure, facilitated a high volunteer retention rate and volunteers are preparing 10% more returns than last years. VISTA Cesar Benavides has also been effective in receiving a record number of in-kind and monetary donations in order to provide resources for volunteer tax sites and even a little extra to treat the hardworking VITA volunteers.
However, VISTAs are also proud to know that although the VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program focuses on providing free tax assistance they are making much more of an impact. Through the success of VITA they help provide peace of mind to families who may be having a tough year and are facing financial hardship. All too often volunteers share stories of people who they have left an impression on throughout their service: the single mother who lost her child recently, the husband who quit his job and is relying on his tax refund to care for his wife with cancer, the elder person who received threats from scammers claiming to be the IRS. VISTA volunteers help train volunteers not only to prepare taxes but how to handle delicate situations and provide a positive interaction for all who seek assistance.  
Volunteers educate a taxpayer who may have a balance due with the IRS on options to prevent having a balance due the following year. They also ensure those who may fear filing taxes due to immigration or citizenship status that they ought not be concerned as this information is safe and protected, and as per IRS policy not shared with other federal agencies.
The real success story is that VISTAs are helping people in the Laredo community sleep with a few less worries.