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UNITED WAY OF LANCASTER COUNTY’S FREE TAX PREPARATION PROGRAM OPENS FIRST FREESTANDING SERVICE CENTER

On January 26, 2016, United Way of Lancaster County’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program opened its first freestanding tax preparation service center with a ribbon cutting ceremony. The new office, located at 560 South Reading Road in Ephrata, is part of the Ephrata Public Library campus, fronting on Route 272.
 
The Library has hosted a small VITA tax preparation office within its library since 2011. The new center has doubled its size, allowing United Way to increase the number of tax specialists and expand its services. The extra space will also help clients access other vital programs including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and United Way’s Bank On Program.
 
The VITA tax preparation center is one of 15 sites across Lancaster County where IRS-certified volunteers offer free tax preparation services to individuals and families who earned $62,000 or less in 2015.
 
“The VITA tax preparation service has been an important part of United Way’s work to move Lancaster County families out of poverty since 2007,” said Sue Suter, President and Chief Executive Officer at United Way. “This new center exemplifies our vision for future offices…highly visible, community centered and supported, and offering a scope of needed services.”
 
Opening this office in Ephrata is an important step for both United Way’s VITA program and the Ephrata community,” said Ezra Rothman, VITA Coordinator. “On average, these services will save each taxpayer more than $200 for tax preparation. Plus, our trained volunteers work diligently to ensure that taxpayers take advantage of all eligible credits and deductions.
 
“VITA is grateful for the support of the community,” said Rothman. “Especially our site sponsor, Ephrata National Bank.”
 
“Ephrata National Bank is fortunate to be able to partner with other community-minded organizations to help bring this expanded VITA center to Ephrata.  We embrace VITA’s focus on building a stronger community by helping residents save money,” said Aaron Groff, President and Chief Executive Officer. 
 
“Libraries must be change agents within their communities,” said Ann Small, President of the Board of Directors of Ephrata Public Library. “The partnership that Ephrata Public Library and VITA have forged over the years has certainly assisted many in our community. “By opening up this building as a new Community Commons, VITA has more space, can increase hours, and has more possibilities to assist those who need these valuable services.”
 
To schedule a VITA appointment or get more information, taxpayers should call United Way of Lancaster County’s 2-1-1 help line to speak with one of United Way's trained information and referral specialists. Appointments are recommended but not required.
 
The new Ephrata VITA tax preparation service center is open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9am-1pm; Tuesday and Thursday from 5pm-9pm; and Saturday from 9am-3pm.
 
For more information visit www.FreeTaxPrepLancaster.org
 

 Attached Photo (from left to right): Ezra Rothman, VITA Coordinator, United Way of Lancaster County; Ann Small, President, Board of Directors, Ephrata Public Library; Nancy Aronson, VITA Volunteer; Kevin Kohl, Treasurer, Ephrata Public Library; Jan Long, VITA

Volunteer; Mary Ebersole, Ephrata Public Library;  Aaron Groff, President & CEO, Ephrata National Bank; John Ebersole, VITA Volunteer; Rebecca Lawrence, Ephrata Public Library; Mark Thompson, Ephrata National Bank; Andrea Glass, Executive Director, Ephrata

Area Chamber of Commerce

 
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About United Way of Lancaster County For over 90 years United Way of Lancaster County has helped make change happen across Lancaster County by providing opportunities for community members to give, advocate, and volunteer. United Way’s Community Impact Fund focuses donor investments that address the underlying causes of the County’s most serious problems and work to achieve four bold goals. By 2025, United Way is marshalling resources so that (1) Every child will enter kindergarten ready to learn, (2) All adults will have the necessary post-secondary credentials they need to get a good job, (3)  We have decreased poverty by 50%, and (4) Everyone has access to a doctor, dentist, and mental health professional. In addition to offering a 2-1-1 information and referral help line, a volunteer center, and free tax preparation services for low income workers, United Way fosters collaborations between nonprofit organizations, healthcare providers, schools, faith-based groups, businesses, and government. United Way and its supporters create lasting change in Lancaster County, achieving results that no single organization or sector could accomplish alone.
 
 
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 January 27, 2016