Community Impact

Paul serves as the Community Impact Manager of United Way of Rock River Valley.

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Expanding Opportunity – Building Hope: EITC Awareness Day

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When you finally land that job you've been hoping for, you don't let anything get in your way—not even being homeless. Things had finally turned around for Jesse and he was grateful to be working at a production warehouse, but he still wasn't able to afford an apartment. But when Jesse had his taxes prepared at United Way's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance site, he found out that he'd be getting the Earned Income Tax Credit. He and his wife Juana used their return to move out of their car and into a home.

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) helps millions of workers like Jesse keep more of what they earn to pay for things like reliable transportation to get to work, housing, and food, and United Way helps people claim the EITC at tax time. Just last year, United Way of Rock River Valley and our partners, through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program and, helped connect 2,629 local people in the Rockford IL area to $3.5 million in tax refunds – money coming right back into our community and being spent at local businesses.

But we need your help in three ways:

Spread the Word

Help family and friends connect to the EITC. One in five who are eligible for the EITC are leaving money on the table – money that can make a big difference in paying bills and putting food on the table. Anyone earning $64,000 or less in 2016 can do their taxes for free online at and collect any credits for which they are eligible. You can also file your taxes for free in-person with assistance from a Goodwill volunteer tax preparer.


Advocate to Expand the EITC

We know EITC works, yet some working Americans are excluded from the powerful, proven impacts of the EITC. In fact, about 7.5 million Americans are actually taxed into poverty largely because they are ineligible for the EITC or the EITC is too small. We can change that by raising our voices together – learn more and take action.


Invest in Financial Stability Programs

United Way fights for the financial stability of everyone in every neighborhood. Our investment in financial programs connect adults to important job skills training and economic opportunities that improve the overall quality of life for all our neighborhoods. Make a donation to United Way's community impact campaign to support hardworking families.


By connecting local community members like Jesse to existing resources and advocating to expand what works, you are helping to make strong neighborhoods for our community. Please join us and #LiveUnited. 




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Guest Thursday, 19 October 2017
Top Box Foods UW-Campaign17-Kickoff
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New partnership with Top Box Foods increases access to healthy and affordable food in two local neighborhood food deserts.

Join the fight and learn how you can LIVE UNITED against problems facing our neighborhoods. Register now for our Community Campaign Kickoff event >



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