SUCCESS STORY: NEW CENTURY IDA, A UNITED WAY COLLABORATIVE

We met and got to speak with Jasmine at the Enclave Apartments holiday party. The community was abuzz with children running here and there, neighbors enjoying each others’ company, and way too much delicious food.

Jasmine has lived at Enclave for four years—ever since she lost her home as the result of divorce. It was a home that she built from the ground up after going through the New Century IDA program.

Run by Experiment in Self Reliance and supported by a number of non-profit organizations in Winston-Salem, including United Way of Forsyth County, the purpose of New Century IDA is to promote personal, economic, and financial self-sufficiency. They do this through building assets, reducing debt, promoting savings, improving credit, and developing financial literacy skills. The organization prides itself on helping members of our community break the cycle of poverty.

Jasmine credits IDA and the classes she took over the course of nearly two years with helping her save money, pay off bills, and build her home. IDA showed her to how to build credit and save. According to Jasmine, “The program helps you get to the next level.”

This holiday season, she feels blessed to have qualified and been accepted into the program for a second time. This go around, her goal is to start her own business—a line of organic beauty products she hopes to create and market.

Her best friend told Jasmine about IDA. And, in turn, she shares the word every chance she gets.

ESR Provides Free Tax Returns

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is the largest anti-poverty program in the US, lifting 9 million people out of poverty. The EITC provides low-income working adults with a tax credit based on their income. On average, a qualified Forsyth County taxpayer receives $1,700 in EITC credit, and the credit can sometimes total more than the amount earned during the year. In addition to benefiting working families, the credit brings money directly into our community.

Forsyth Free Tax is a part of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program in which qualified volunteers prepare taxes for free for people making $54,000 a year or less. EITC and VITA are vital asset building tools that help low-moderate income people build wealth.

Tax preparers are educated on tax credits and help people receive every tax credit for which they qualify. Returns for the 2015 tax season totaled 4,006 returns done through Forsyth County’s EITC/VITA.

FFT-logoForsyth Free Tax expanded their reach in the past couple years by using a mobile unit called The Point which is equipped with computers and is capable of traveling to different sites in the area. The mobile unit has allowed agencies to expand the reach of these services throughout the community for tax preparation and other purposes, and has been made possible by grant through Wells Fargo. The mobile unit is owned by United Way and housed with Financial Pathways of the Piedmont. This mobile innovation received the National Association of Development Organization Innovation Award in 2013. This year, a mobile unit that was made possible by Wells Fargo and owned by the United Way will provide an alternate method of tax preparation as well.

The Triad EITC/VITA program in Forsyth County alone has helped bring in over over $4 million in tax refunds, half stemming from the EITC last season. The best part is that the tax refunds go directly to the individual. Forsyth Free Tax also offers online tax services at www.myfreetaxes.com to individuals making less than $62,000 who want to self-prepare their taxes.

Community sites are available throughout Forsyth County to provide free tax preparation services during tax season. These sites offer free tax preparation, Asset Building Counseling, and linkages to asset-building programs such as Experiment in Self-Reliance’s Individual Development Account program, NC Saves, Financial Literacy Counseling, etc.

Certified volunteers are given the opportunity to prepare 1040EZ, 1040A, and many other 1040 returns.

Tax season officially begins on January 19, 2016. Tax sites open on February 1 and will be at the following locations:

Experiment in Self-Reliance (3480 Dominion Street) – (Mondays-Fridays 10 am-3 pm, Saturdays 9 am- 1 pm)
Goodwill Industries (2760 Peters Creek Parkway)- (Tuesdays, Thursdays 4 pm-7:30 pm)
Goodwill Industries (2701 University Parkway) – (Wednesdays, Thursdays 4 pm-8 pm)
King Public Library (101 Pilot View Drive, King, NC) Thursdays 5-8 pm
Malloy-Jordan Center/East Winston Library (1110 East 7th Street) – (Saturdays 10 am-2 pm)
Mi Casa Servicios Hispano-Latino (1705 Link Road) Monday-Friday 9 am – 5 pm
Career Connections and Prosperity Center South (508 Waughtown Street) – (Mondays 9 am -12 pm, Wednesdays 4 pm-8 pm, Fridays 11 am-3 pm, Saturdays 9 am-1 pm)
Winston-Salem Transit Authority (100 W. 5th Street) – (Mondays 1 pm-5 pm, Wednesdays 1 pm-5 pm, Fridays 1 pm-5 pm)
Walnut Cove Senior Center (308 Brooke Street, Walnut Cove, NC) Mondas 1 pm-5 pm)
Winston-Salem Federal Credit Union (711 E Salem Ave) Monday-Thursday 9 am – 4 pm
Winston-Salem Transit Authority (100 West 5th Street) Monday-Tuesday 4 pm – 8 pm, Friday 1 pm – 5 pm

Appointment only sites:

Walkertown Branch Library (2969 Main Street, Walkertown, NC)
Rural Hall Library (7125 Broad Street, Rural Hall, NC)

People are asked to bring a picture ID, Social Security card for themselves and each dependent they are claiming, all W-2s and/or 1099s, employer ID number or SS number of childcare providers, and last year’s tax returns if itemizing. If they want direct deposit of any refund, bring a check or savings account information.

 

GORDINEER SELECTED FOR NATIONAL LEADERSHIP BODY OF UNITED WAYS

FOR RELEASE ON​: Thursday, December 17, 2015

CONTACT: Tory Gillett
336-721-9321 (office)
​336-682-7468 (cell)
​tory.gillett@uwforsyth.org

GORDINEER SELECTED FOR NATIONAL LEADERSHIP BODY OF UNITED WAYS
LOCAL UNITED WAY LEADER HELPS SHAPE WORLDWIDE ORGANIZATION’S DIRECTION

Winston-Salem, NC (December 17, 2015)—Cindy Gordineer, President and CEO of United Way of Forsyth County, has been appointed to the National Professional Council (NPC) of United Ways, a select group of chief executive officers from across the country that focuses on identifying common challenges and solutions for the community-based member nonprofits. Stacey D. Stewart, U.S. Network President, appointed Gordineer to the group.

Gordineer was selected because of her outstanding leadership in our community and within the United Way network. She will join just a handful of local United Way executives who are helping advise United Way Worldwide in setting strategy and direction for nearly 1,200 United Ways across the U.S.

“Cindy understands the real value of United Way and is a champion of innovation and new ideas who will take a collaborative approach to helping strengthen our network at a national level,” Ms. Stewart said. “I’m excited to have her on our team.”

Since joining United Way of Forsyth County in August 2011, Gordineer has helped to evolve the local organization’s strategic vision, worked with partners to set metrics for community-wide outcomes, and developed the new placed-based strategy being implemented in the summer of 2016.

“The face of philanthropy is changing. We recognize that community challenges are complex and require non-profits to work collaboratively to create sustainable, measureable results. I’m honored to have been selected and look forward to being part of setting the course for the United Way network,” said Gordineer.

Gordineer will serve a two-year term beginning January 1, 2016 and ending December 31, 2017. For more information about United Way of Forsyth County, please visit www.forsythunitedway.org.

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United Way of Forsyth County believes quality of life relies on three building blocks—education, financial stability, and health. All three are critical and interdependent to the collective success of our community. United Way of Forsyth County creates positive change in the community by aligning resources and strategic partners to achieve measurable, lasting results. We invest in improving student success and the high school graduation rate, increasing financial stability among lower-income individuals and families, broadening access to health care and prescription medications to the un- and under-insured, and providing critical assistance to those facing immediate crisis. Learn more about our work at www.forsythunitedway.org

Gordineer Selected For National Leadership Body of United Ways

Local United Way Leader Helps Shape Worldwide Organization’s Direction

Winston-Salem, NC (December 17, 2015)—Cindy Gordineer, President and CEO of United Way of Forsyth County, has been appointed to the National Professional Council (NPC) of United Ways, a select group of chief executive officers from across the country that focuses on identifying common challenges and solutions for the community-based member nonprofits. Stacey D. Stewart, U.S. Network President, appointed Gordineer to the group.

Gordineer was selected because of her outstanding leadership in our community and within the United Way network. She will join just a handful of local United Way executives who are helping advise United Way Worldwide in setting strategy and direction for nearly 1,200 United Ways across the U.S.

“Cindy understands the real value of United Way and is a champion of innovation and new ideas who will take a collaborative approach to helping strengthen our network at a national level,” Ms. Stewart said. “I’m excited to have her on our team.”

Since joining United Way of Forsyth County in August 2011, Gordineer has helped to evolve the local organization’s strategic vision, worked with partners to set metrics for community-wide outcomes, and developed the new placed-based strategy being implemented in the summer of 2016.

“The face of philanthropy is changing. We recognize that community challenges are complex and require non-profits to work collaboratively to create sustainable, measureable results. I’m honored to have been selected and look forward to being part of setting the course for the United Way network,” said Gordineer.

Gordineer will serve a two-year term beginning January 1, 2016 and ending December 31, 2017.

Meet Billy: AmeriCorps VISTA

I’m in my third week as an AmeriCorps VISTA working on ending chronic homelessness, and every day my work brings me out into the community. Essentially, people tell me stories all day, and it’s as if my gentle inquisition into their work initiates tireless Rube Goldberg machines narrating challenges, successes, and goals. Most conversations have a shift. After giving well-practiced facility tours and outcome statistics, we’re both comfortable that I understand the ‘what.’ This, after all, is why I came: to ask ‘what’ they do.

What grabs me, though, and what most inspires me to enjoy this work, comes right after. It’s the ‘why.’ Here we let loose the hounds of the soul. I love it. I love hearing these talented, dedicated individuals speak with vulnerability and compassion. Our eyes meet with such focus as to distort and fade the rest of the room, and I leave feeling like I see the world with a new palette of colors.

As we live we transform, and each day’s experience adds new layers. When someone shares the ‘why’ of what they do, they draw from all of these daily layers. Their endeavors connect to their hearts’ storms, summers, folklore, and goals. It revives their youthful idealism, it harkens their heartbreaks and failures, and it prospects paths towards the future. Everyone has a story, and I love getting to not only hear these stories, but also help advance them as we work towards ending chronic homelessness in Winston Salem.

Billy Nicholson
VISTA: Naissance
12/7/2015