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Thursday, October 3, 2013
Although it's only early fall, many residents - especially older ones in the counties of Franklin, Roanoke, Botetourt, Craig, Montgomery, Pulaski and Grayson and the cities of Roanoke, Salem and Galax - already are dreading the upcoming tax season.
Their worries can be lessened with assistance from the AARP TaxAide Program, which provides free tax services and accepts and prepares tax returns for all clients who elect to use the service.
The program, which focuses on low- to middle-income seniors, is in need of volunteers.
"There is an enormous demand for tax preparation services by seniors within our area. However, we can only expand services through the participation of additional volunteers who are willing to train and serve this client group," said Richard Ikenberry, coordinator.
Last year, 84 volunteers prepared 3,678 returns, a growth of 11.4 percent over 2012, according to Ikenberry.
The 2014 projection is preparing and filing 4,230 returns.
For 2013, volunteers spent about 40 hours each, serving about 60 clients each.
The AARP Foundation, the IRS and volunteer contributions support the service, which will have sites in Rocky Mount, Westlake, Roanoke, Christiansburg, Pulaski and Galax.
The following volunteers are needed:
New counselors participate in 30 hours of classroom training and complete required IRS tests for certification. For more information or to volunteer, call Ikenberry at 819-3552 by Nov. 8.
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Mental Health America of Roanoke Valley, in cooperation with Family Service of Roanoke Valley and the Adult Care Center of Roanoke Valley, is sponsoring a free caregiver college Wednesday at Advance Auto Parts at Crossroads Mall.
The half-day seminar - from 8:30 a.m. to noon - features a keynote address and workshops designed to help family members and professional caregivers better cope with the challenges of caring for someone who is experiencing both physical illnesses or impairments and cognitive decline.
The seminar has received funding from Foundation for Roanoke Valley's Belonging Initiative.
To reserve a space, call Mental Health America at 344-0931 or email firstname.lastname@example.org by Oct. 14. Space is limited.
A limited number of $40 stipends is available to reimburse participants who have to hire help to care for their loved ones while they are participating in the program.
To apply for a stipend, call Mental Health America.
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Foundation for Roanoke Valley recently awarded grants totaling $24,911 to five nonprofit organizations.
The grants are from the Larry Woodrow Vest Fund, which supports a range of community needs and focuses on charitable organizations providing services to Floyd County residents.
The organizations receiving grants were:
Foundation for Roanoke Valley administers more than 260 named endowment funds on behalf of the community and works to help local individuals and families establish permanent charitable legacies.
For information, visit www.foundationforroanokevalley.org or call 985-0204.
Weather JournalMidday update: More ice likely later