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Our campaign included time at the Boys and Girls Club in Clearwater’s North Greenwood neighborhood.

A disturbing report was released last month. According to the Census Bureau, the U.S. poverty rate spiked to 15.1 percent in 2010, the highest level since 1993. The rate in Florida was 16 percent. 

In 2010, poverty was defined as an annual income of $22,314 for a family of four and $11,139 for a single person.  

The news was even worse for our nation’s children, whose poverty rate was 22%. That means that almost one in four children in our country lives in poverty.

As I think about the struggling families in our area, I’m determined that United Way of Tampa Bay will work harder than ever to help.  

Last year, we invested 40 percent of your donations in our safety net services. Our partner food banks served 80,000 people – up 10,000 from the previous year. Our sheltering partners provided a safe place to sleep for more than 4,300 people.  We are the fiscal agent and manage distribution of the Emergency Food and Shelter Program that allocates dollars for food, rent, mortgages and utilities for the neediest in our community. And we provide free tax preparation to working families to ensure they keep more of what they earn.

As you think about your investment in your community, consider these numbers. Think about the children who are living in poverty. When you’ve given what you’re able to, think about other ways you can help. Become a tutor at a low-income school. Volunteer at a social service agency so they can use their funds to serve the community.

I have high hopes that one day soon, more people will be employed and more families with children will be lifted out of poverty. I know that without your help, your investments and your time, we would not be doing as well as we are. Thank you for doing what you can to help others. Your caring keeps me going.


Diana Baker, President and CEO


Mark your calendars for Thursday, April 29. You won’t want to miss celebrity speaker Vern Yip, designer and host of HGTV’s Deserving Design and judge of Design Star, talk design and help Tampa Bay meet the dreams of local families.

Vern joins past celebrity keynote speakers at Art of Giving, such as fashion guru Clinton Kelly and Devil Wears Prada author Lauren Weisberger. In addition to the night of design, the event will feature the popular Power of the Purse fashion handbag auction, silent auction and live auction.

Proceeds from Art of Giving benefits the United Way Summer Care program- providing childcare and financial literacy education to working families.

Tickets start at $100 each. Sponsorships available. Call (813) 274-0901 or visit for more information.

Sixth Annual Art of Giving
Caring with Style

April 29, 2010
5:30 p.m.- 9:00 p.m.
A La Carte Pavilion
4050 Dana Shores Drive, Tampa

During the 6 p.m. news hour on Fox 13 this evening, the Prosperity Campaign’s free tax preparation service will be featured.  Be sure to watch and see how you (or someone you know) may qualify.  Thanks, Fox 13, for focusing on this important story.

Share this news story on Facebook and Twitter if you can.

Learn more.

Every penny counts in today’s economy, yet many Tampa Bay working people are overlooking an important tax credit that could put up to $5,600 or more in their pockets. The Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC, can be the needed financial boost for working people hit by hard economic times in Hillsborough County. Thousands of families will qualify for an additional benefit: free income tax preparation by volunteer tax preparers.

United Way of Tampa Bay, the lead agency in a partnership of several regional organizations, is directing the efforts of the Prosperity Campaign of Hillsborough County.  Through the Prosperity Campaign, qualified individuals will have access to free tax preparation and assistance in applying for additional tax credits.
Read the rest of this entry »

Free Tax Help

Who’s Eligible

If your household income is $49,000 or less and you file an income tax return, you’re eligible for free tax preparation.

What To Bring

  • Photo identification
  • Social security cards for you, your spouse and dependents
  • Birth dates for tax payers and the dependents on the tax return
  • 2009 tax package if you received one
    All wage and earning statements – Form W-2, W2G, 1099-R for all employers
  • Interest and dividend statements from banks – Form 1099
  • A copy of last year’s federal tax return
  • Bank routing numbers and account numbers for direct deposit
  • Other relevant documentation (as applicable):

    • Total paid for child care and daycare provider’s identification number and contact information
    • Total paid for continuing education (tuition, books, supplies, etc.)
    • Sales tax paid on purchase of new vehicle
    • Information on purchase of new home (if first-time buyer)
    • Business-related expenses, such as mileage, office supplies, advertising (if small-business owner or independent contractor)
    • Adoption expenses
    • Any notices received from the IRS or state tax office
    • Property tax bills
    • Additional forms of income: prizes and awards, scholarships and fellowships, lottery/gambling winnings.
    • To file taxes electronically on a “married filing jointly” return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms

If you lost or do not have all of these items, you can still get your taxes prepared. Call the IRS helpline at 1-800-829-1040 to find out what you need and how to obtain missing or duplicate documents.

Where To Go

Hillsborough County
2010 Tax Preparation Sites

North Tampa and University Area

Opening mid-January – mid February 2010.

University Community Resource Center
13605 North 22nd Street
Tampa. FL 33613
Income Limit: $56,000
OPEN: Monday-Thursday 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.;
Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

North Tampa FSRC
1401-A East Fowler Avenue
Tampa, FL 33612
Income Limit: $49,000

Tampa Bay WorkForce Alliance
9215 North Florida Avenue, #101
Tampa, FL 33612

Genesis Financial Management
12640 Telecom Drive
Tampa, FL  33637
Income Limit: $49,000
OPEN: Tuesday 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. & Thursday 3:00 – 7:00 p.m.
One Saturday per month (TBA)
By appointment

Jimmie B. Keel Library
2902 West Bearss Avenue
Tampa, FL 33618
OPEN: Thursday & Friday 12:00 noon – 4:00 p.m.

East Tampa and Ybor City

Children’s Board
1002 East Palm Avenue
Tampa, FL 33605
Income Limit: $49,000
OPEN: Monday & Wednesday 3:00 – 6:30 p.m.; Thursday 9:30 -11:30am; Two Saturdays per month, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon (dates TBD)

Lee Davis NSC
3402 North 22nd Street
Tampa, FL 33605
Income Limit: $56,000
OPEN: Monday-Thursday 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.; Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Metropolitan Ministries
2301 North Tampa Street
Tampa, FL 33602
Income Limit: $56,000
OPEN: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Thirty-Fourth Street Church of God
3000 North 34th Street
Tampa, FL  33605
(813) 248-8700 ext. 21
Income Limit – $56,000

Sulphur Springs Resource Center
8412 N 12th Street
Tampa, FL 33604
(813) 936-3064
Income Limit: $56,000
OPEN: Monday & Wednesday 1:30 – 5:30 p.m.;
Tuesday & Thursday 3:30 – 7:30 p.m.
By appointment only

West Tampa and Town ‘n Country

West Tampa Neighborhood Service Center
2103 North Rome Avenue
Tampa, FL 33607
Income Limit: $56,000
OPEN: Monday-Thursday 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.; Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Town & Country FSRC
7520 West Waters, #8
Tampa, FL 33615
Income Limit: $49,000
OPEN: Wednesday 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon; Thursday 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.; Saturday 3:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.

HCC – Dale Mabry Campus
4001 Tampa Bay Blvd
Social Sciences Building, Room 204
Tampa, FL 33614
Income Limit: $49,000
OPEN: 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Friday: February 5, February 12, February 19, February 26, March 5, March 12, March 19
Saturday: February 6, February 20, February 27, March 6, March 13, March 20

American Legion Post 152
11211 Sheldon Road
Tampa, FL 33626

Beulah Baptist Institutional Church
1006 Cypress Street
Tampa, FL  33606
Income Limit: $56,000
OPEN: Tuesday 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.;
Thursday 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.

West Tampa Library
2312 W. Union Street
Tampa, FL  33607
OPEN: Monday 12:00 noon  – 4:00 p.m.

Jan Kaminis Platt Library
3910 S. Manhattan Avenue
Tampa, FL  33611
OPEN: Monday 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

South Tampa, Brandon, Ruskin and Plant City

South Shore Community Center
201 14th Avenue SE
Ruskin, FL 33570
OPEN: Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Opening Date: February 6, 2010
Spanish speakers available

King’s Point Clubhouse
1900 Clubhouse Drive
Sun City Center, FL 33573
OPEN: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Opening Date: February 1, 2010
Walk-in and by appointment.

United Community Church
1501 La Jolla Avenue
Sun City Center, FL 33573
OPEN: Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (closed Monday, April 5th)
Opening date: February 1, 2010
Walk-in and by appointment.

Plant City Neighborhood Service Center
307 N. Michigan
Plant City, FL  33563
Income Limit:  $56,000
OPEN: Monday-Thursday, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m., Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Bruton Memorial Library
302 McLendon Street
Plant City, FL 33563
Income Limit: $49,000

Brandon FSRC
1277 Kingsway Road
Brandon, FL 33510
Income Limit: $49,000
OPEN: Monday 4:00 – 8:00 p.m.; Friday 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.;
Saturday 10:00 a.m – 2:00 p.m.

Bloomingdale Library
906 Bloomingdale Avenue
Valrico, FL 33594-6204

Seffner-Mango Library
410 Kingsway Avenue
Seffner, FL  33584

Pinellas County Locations coming soon; visit for more information.

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Throughout Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties, there are many free income tax preparation sites that not only can help you file your income tax at no cost, but help you access EITC and Child Tax Credit refunds, if you qualify. Please read below to find out more.


About EITC
Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a refundable federal income tax credit for low-and moderate-income working individuals and families. Congress, with strong bipartisan support, originally approved the tax credit legislation in 1975. When EITC exceeds the amount of taxes owed, it results in a tax refund to those who claim and qualify for the credit.

To qualify, taxpayers must meet certain requirements and file a tax return, even if they did not earn enough money to be obligated to file a tax return. EITC has no effect on certain welfare benefits. In most cases, EITC payments will not be used to determine eligibility for Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), food stamps, low-income housing or most Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) payments.

To find a free income tax preparation site near you:
Download sites in Pinellas County
Download  sites in Hillsborough County

For more information check out United Way’s financial asset building portal at

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Ph. (813) 274-0900
Fax. (813) 228-9549

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