Update May 2021
United Way of Knox County Highlights
United Way of Knox County supports the Education, Financial Stability, and Health of local residents.

United Way of Knox County joined Knox Public Health, Knox Community Health Center, and Knox Community Hospital in purchasing banners (shown in image) which are displayed on Main Street in Mount Vernon. The banners are prominently displayed to help inform the community of vaccine availability and instruct them on how to gain access.

Visit KnoxHealth.com or call 740-399-3840 to find a local option for vaccination.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program
United Way of Knox County's free tax preparation assistance will continue to serve taxpayers through the extended IRS deadline of May 17. As an IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Site, United Way volunteers and staff assisted tax payers in preparing and submitting their federal and state income taxes for free.

By helping them complete their taxes for free, we hope to help increase financial stability of taxpayers. The program also puts money in their pockets by guiding them to special tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit. They can use this money to purchase necessities and boost savings.

This year, United Way of Knox County's program utilized 3 staff members, a college intern, one experienced volunteer, and two volunteers who were new to the program. Offering weekday, evening, and limited Saturday appointments, the team was able to assist over 520
taxpayers in completing their federal and state income tax returns.

The program's goal is to increase the financial stability of Knox County residents. Filing taxes can be time-consuming, confusing, and expensive. By offering free tax preparation assistance, we can help clients save by avoiding paying costly tax preparation fees. By saving tax payers the fees associated with using a paid preparer, United Way assisted in saving an estimated $104,000 or more.
Tax Volunteer Highlight
Kaylie was a senior student at Mount Vernon Nazarene University, majoring in Social Work. She finished her studies and graduated on April 24, 2021. Kaylie interned with the United Way of Knox County Ohio, Inc. as her senior practicum placement as a part of her social work degree.

She helped with scheduling appointments for the tax program, as well as preparing tax returns. Prior to the program, her only tax experience was preparing her own taxes for a few years prior, so a lot of the program was very new.

According to Kaylie, "the office staff was super helpful with reviewing the training materials with me and providing me with additional resources, as well as answering all my questions when they came up. I was a little apprehensive going in after training, but I once I got into a routine, I felt confident preparing tax returns within the first few days of the program."
In reflection, Kaylie said that her favorite part about tax season was getting to meet some really nice clients from the community. A lot of people expressed that they found their taxes overwhelming and confusing, so Kaylie was happy to be able to participate in a program that works to make people's lives a little less stressful.
Throughout the program, Kaylie said that she learned that taxes could seem overwhelming at first, but with a little bit of patience and explanation understanding your tax return can be accessible to more people. The tax program contributed to developing skills in tax preparation competency, as well as building experience answering questions, and explaining things that can be complicated in understandable terms.

What is her advice to someone considering volunteering for the program?
"This is a great opportunity to serve people in your community, so if you are interested you should absolutely participate. Learning the process is not as complicated as it might seem, and the time you put it in is completely worth it."
SingleCare and FamilyWize Prescription Savings
SingleCare and FamilyWize have merged under one name: SingleCare. The prescription savings program can be used by anyone regardless of income or insurance to receive a discount on prescriptions!

Since SingleCare does not require registration, however, there is an app that individuals can download to access additional savings.
When someone calls in to get a script filled or refilled, they can ask that the SingleCare or FamilyWize discount be applied by providing the information on the card and found online. Even though the new cards feature the Walgreens logo, they are accepted at local pharmacies including Kroger, Rite Aid, CVS, and Walmart.

A Brief Update from our United Way Office
Our Program Director, Elizabeth Doolittle, left her position at United Way of Knox County Ohio, Inc. on April 30, 2021. Elizabeth returned to her hometown of Mount Vernon and Knox County in 2018 when she joined the team at United Way.

Elizabeth asked for the opportunity to thank the United Way community for the experience. “I am grateful to have contributed to Knox County through my work at United Way. Thank you for welcoming me and allowing me to promote the programs and partnerships in our community. I hope that my organization skills and ability to create structured processes will leave a lasting impression.”

During this transition, please contact lindsay@uwayknox.org for administrative communications with United Way. She will be able to direct you to the most appropriate staff member. Our Executive Director, Kelly Brenneman, will reach out to you with updated contact information when the organization has trained the perfect candidate to manage program relationships.
Connect to Volunteer Opportunities in Knox County
Local volunteerism is the power behind long-lasting change. United Way of Knox County has long prioritized volunteerism. Introduction of a new, dynamic online platform will amplify volunteer engagement and impact in Knox County. Nonprofits and other agencies in the area have already started posting their volunteer opportunities, special events, and engagement activities online in hopes of increasing the variety of ways for individuals to get involved. This web-based system, Volunteer Knox is administrated by United Way and available at www.volunteerknox.com.
Organizations and volunteers will utilize the tool for free under one United Way of Knox County Ohio, Inc. agreement. Contact United Way of Knox County Ohio, Inc. office for more information!