United Way of Tucson Commits Additional $500,000 to Relief Fund
Brings total to over $1 million for Southern Arizona
United Way of Tucson is pleased to announce that we have raised an additional $500,000 for the United for Southern Arizona COVID-19 Relief Fund this week. This matches the previous $500,000 raised earlier this year bringing the total amount raised for 2020 to $1,069,592 which will be distributed to our 25+ community partners for immediate and direct assistance for our community. The additional half-million dollars will go towards the most pressing needs for individuals and families to help bridge the gap in federal support, scheduled to end this December. The need continues to be great as so many in our community are seemingly on the edge of a cliff. This additional funding and support will still be needed for months to come, but big challenges call for big solutions and we are ready to step up to help create those solutions with the support of our community partners and donors like you.
United Way of Tucson has raised
$1,069,592 to help individuals and families in our Southern Arizona community.
United For Southern Arizona
COVID-19 Fund Updates:
As the pandemic stretches on, now more than ever before our community's big challenges call for big solutions. With many federally funded programs coming to an end in December, additional funding and support will be needed for the tough months ahead. In the face of these challenges, your United Way continues to provide emergency funding for community members through the United for Southern Arizona COVID-19 Fund. Funds raised are used to help local individuals and families in crisis due to COVID-19. It is only through your generosity that we are able to create a positive impact in the lives of others. We need your help to continue providing essential services to the most vulnerable populations. This week as you read the stories below, remember that Tucson needs you to GIVE BIG and GIVE UNITED. Read on for individual stories of impact, volunteer opportunities and other important updates.
*Total Funds to be allocated through the end of the year
Partner Agencies:
Community Stories
Now, more than ever we need the support of our funders and donors like you. Additional funding and support is needed as United Way of Tucson continues to provide emergency services for individuals and families in conjunction with our partner organizations. To those who have given, THANK YOU for Giving Big and for Giving United. Below you will read the stories of how individuals suffering during the COVID-19 crisis have been directly assisted by the dollars raised for the United for Southern Arizona COVID-19 Fund.
Dealing with Unemployment and Furloughs
From Primavera Foundation: “Stephanie* is a single mother, living with two children. She spent many years completing the requirements to be a massage therapist: finishing the educational requirements and certifications, submitting materials for background checks, and applying for her license. Over the years, she built up enough of a client base to support herself and her family through self-employment. However, COVID-19 hit her business hard. Physical distancing has made practicing nearly impossible, and even with substantial safety measures in place, few of her usual clients feel ready to come back. Stephanie has started sewing masks and providing phone consultations to her clients to make ends meet, but her income is a fraction of what it used to be. On top of this stress, having her children at home with her instead of school has meant that she needs more money for food and utility costs. Assistance from the United for Southern Arizona COVID-19 Fund will help Stephanie pay her electricity bill this month.”
United Way of Tucson Response:
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)
For families with limited and inconsistent income, one extra check can make all the difference. While our United for Southern Arizona COVID-19 Fund has provided support for thousands of families this year, our Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program helps community members every tax season. United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona volunteers provide free, quality tax preparation from IRS-certified preparers to individuals and families earning up to $66,000 annually, helping them access all the tax credits for which they are eligible. For families like Stephanie’s, these credits would likely include the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) – credits that put thousands of dollars back into the hands of families who can use them to catch up on rent, pay off debts, and start rebuilding. Over the past five years, VITA volunteers helped Arizonans complete over 82,000 tax returns and brought over $120 million dollars back to them and their local economies.
For the 2021 tax year, VITA is excited to announce a partnership with GetYourRefund.org. Our VITA team is working with GetYourRefund.org to replicate the VITA experience virtually: taxpayers will still receive one-on-one assistance from real, live IRS-certified tax preparers. This online system will also help us reach more people, process returns more efficiently, and ensure the health and safety of our volunteers and community.
Virtual volunteers are needed to help us prepare taxes for neighbors across Arizona! Learn more about available opportunities and how to sign up:
More information about using VITA for your free tax preparation needs will be available in January. Our virtual filing system, along with limited in-person locations and DIY options, plan to be open by February 1, 2021.
Additional Resources
Now, more than ever our community's
Big Challenges call for Big Solutions
We need your continued support to provide life saving services to our community as we struggle through the COVID-19 Crisis. For nearly 100 years, your United Way of Southern Arizona has been fulfilling our mission of mobilizing the community to solve real-time problems. Your gift to this fund will quickly support a child, family, or older person with what they need most during this difficult time. Together, we can help each other and our community emerge from this stronger than ever. Whether you’re able to give $25, $2,500 or contribute your time volunteering with us, we need your help to continue providing essential services to the most vulnerable populations. This year Tucson needs you to GIVE BIG and GIVE UNITED.