May 10 at 5:44pm

VITA Program Returns $3.15 Million To Low-Income Community

When tax season is in fRaje 2ull swing, Interfaith depends on the help of volunteers to conduct our Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.  With VITA sites all over North County in Escondido, San Marcos and Oceanside, Interfaith aims to help return hundreds of thousands of dollars back into our community, resulting in returns to those who need it the most. However, with a record breaking 72 volunteers in the VITA program this tax season, Interfaith was able to complete over 1,900 tax returns for low-income households, resulting in $3.15 million in returns.

“I didn’t think that getting into taxes would allow me to help people,” said Raje (pictured right), one of Interfaith’s VITA volunteers this tax season. “But there is a tremendous amount of importance in helping those who may not know the tax code get the money they deserve.”

A stay-at-home mom living in Rancho Bernardo, Raje got involved with the VITA program while looking for an opportunity to positively contribute to her community.  “I wanted to make a difference, not just do a job because I was getting paid to do it,” said Raje, who has her Masters in Accounting. “It can be very intimidating for someone to get their taxes done, not knowing if they will get a return or end up owing money to the government. But the staff at Interfaith made everyone, including me, feel very comfortable.”

While this is her first year with Interfaith as a VITA volunteer, Raje plans on coming back next tax season to make even more of a difference. “I want to get started even earlier next year,” said Raje. “Until then, I’ll keep reading and will stay up on all the forms and codes – I want it all to stay fresh in my mind.”

Interfaith Community Services thanks all the volunteers that helped achieve this phenomenal success and return millions of dollars to our community and into the pockets of those who need it most!

If you would like more information on the VITA program and how you can make a direct impact on lives in our community, please contact Micki Hickox or call (760) 489-6380 ext. 204.