There is an excellent, easy means to lift working families from dire poverty. You and your congregation can help them achieve this assistance!
California Council of Churches is applying for a state-funded grant to connect very low- to moderate-income families with the federal and state Earned Income Tax Credit – EITC - that gives them a major hand up financially.
We need YOU to help us reach those families.
EITC provides tax-free cash to working families ranging from a single individual to individuals or couples with children. The federal program sets the income maximums that range from $14,680 for a childless single adult to $53,505 for couples with three or more children. The annual amounts returned to families can range from $506 for a childless working adult to $6,269 for those with three or more qualifying children.
These funds have proven a lifesaver for working families who are at or below the state’s median income levels. It has provided people the means for debt retirement, repairs to a vehicle, new clothes for school kids, paying unexpected utility bills, and even creating a small savings account for future emergencies. It is available annually and can be applied for retroactively for past years. One family who called our offices about help with a utility bill discovered that by filing an amended return for EITC, they would get over $15,000. It changed their lives!
CCC is asking for a sense of your interest in helping us do Outreach and Education on connecting working families to EITC. This is as simple as distributing literature in your congregations, perhaps on your CROP WALK or at community events. Do you have members in need, people whom you serve at food banks who are working but still hungry? Do you run clinics or childcare centers or any other services that touches those who work but do not earn enough? Every bit of this is important possibilities for reaching people for whom EITC is a critical lifeline.
This is an intense project starting mid-October 2016 through the end of April 2017 (tax season). We need to reach as many working families as possible. EITC is not well known and not widely used by the very people who desperately need it. We need your help connecting them to this critical resource.
PLEASE send us an expression of interest in being part of our outreach. If you are,, will you give a rough estimate of how many volunteers might contact those families, however it works for your congregation or group, and about how often per week or month it could be done? If it’s 4 hours per month or 40 – we just need a rough estimate. Nothing at all commits you to doing this work, but in our application we need to have a sense of the geographic range of interest.
If you do choose to participate and we get the grant, CCC will provide you with the materials telling people how to access EITC, both state and federal, and how to contact the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) programs in your area that do the applications for working families. Your congregation may wish to become a VITA source, but it is not required at all.
We are extremely excited about a chance for us to turn our social justice witness and advocacy to the benefit of those who labor so long yet earn so little. This is justice-in-action, a manifestation of all we say, for those in need whose lives we can improve. Please feel invited to help us help them.
Please get back to us as soon as possible if you are interested. Grant submission deadline is September 12, so time is critical. We appreciate any aspect of this outreach and education you would like to do, and we thank you in advance for considering this opportunity.