by Eloise Montemayor.
Community Relations/Public Sector Associate
United Way of South Texas
With the help of outstanding volunteers
and supporters, United Way of South
Texas impacts approximately 286,000
residents in Hidalgo and Starr counties
every year. We admire the work ethic
and passion of our volunteers who collectively
contribute hundreds of hours
towards United Way programs like
Back-to-School "In Style" Shopping
Spree, Day of Caring, and Volunteer Income
Tax Assistance (VITA) Program.
The VITA program alone exemplifies
what hard work and commitment from
volunteers has done for our community.
United Way's VITA program has grown
to offer free income tax preparation services,
for households earning less than
$54,000, at 16 sites today compared to
eight sites in 2011. By the end of the
2015-2016 tax season, VITA volunteers
helped 3,102 households receive a total
refund of $6.1 million. This year (2016-
2017 tax season), VITA volunteers have
already helped 3,190 residents receive a
total refund of $7.2 million.
The VITA program is just one example
of how important volunteers are to
the success of our programs. However,
there are various other ways volunteers
can get involved with United Way and
with other agencies and entities that
serve our community. This month we invite
individuals and families to put their
heart into their community by giving of
their time and talents. In fact, we hope
that hundreds of volunteers will participate
in National Volunteer Week, which
is April 23-29.
More than 100 agencies have posted
their needs online through Volunteer
South Texas (volunteersotx.org), a free
user-friendly online portal.
Some of the agencies have even posted
specific projects just for volunteers
wishing to help during National Volunteer
Last year, 275 volunteers contributed
864 hours of their time during NVW. We
hope that more volunteers will be willing
to participate this year.
To find out more about Volunteer
South Texas and the needs of our local
non profits, visit volunteersotx.org
call United Way at 956-686-6331.
If you would like to support our
programs with a monetary donation,
you may mail a check to
United Way of South Texas at
P.O. Box 187
McAllen, TX 78505-0187