AmeriCorps NCCC teams arrive in KCMO region ready to serve communities

For Immediate Release Media Contact: Michael Bottari mfbottari@gmail.com 978-201-2357

Kansas City and Independence, Mo. - Three teams from AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) arrived in the greater-Kansas City area on Sunday, January 13, to begin a variety of 10-week service projects, ranging from tax preparation to home construction.

One of the teams, called “Water 4”, is serving with the University of Missouri Extension Office to assist with tax preparation for those in the community who are low income, disabled, or speak English as a second language. These 10 service members will first be trained and certified by the IRS at the University of Missouri-Columbia campus and will return to Kansas City to begin the free tax assistance program on January 28.

The University of Missouri Extension Office works within communities across Missouri using research-based techniques to improve health, nutrition, personal finance and housing through educational and hands-on programs.

This team of AmeriCorps NCCC members will be offering free tax assistance at three locations from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday until March 21. They will be stationed at The University of Missouri Extension Office at 2700 East 18th Street Suite 240, the Kansas City Public Library’s North-East Branch at 6000 Wilson Road, and at The Community Service League in Independence at 404 North Roland Road. For more information contact Shatomi Luster at 816-482-5850 or lusters@missouri.edu.

A nine-member AmeriCorps NCCC team, called “Water 7”, is working in conjunction with another preparatory income tax program, the Kansas City CASH Coalition. Beginning on Monday, January 21, preparation sessions will begin at 1720 Paseo Boulevard from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Kansas City CASH Coalition provides assistance free of charge to qualifying families who strive to build a solid economic foundation and to expand their financial stability. Essential responsibilities for Water 7 will entail reviewing, filing, and checking tax returns for Kansas City residents whose total yearly income falls under $51,000.

This organization helps increase awareness about the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credits, two tax-breaks that help alleviate poverty for numerous low-income residents throughout the area.

The Kansas City CASH Coalition, a council compromised of government and community-based organizations, as well as financial and educational institutes, is approaching its 10th consecutive year of service throughout the metropolitan area. For more information, feel free to e-mail Maggie Doedtman at Maggie@uwgkc.org

“Earth 1”, a team of 11 other AmeriCorps NCCC members, is working with the Truman Heritage Habitat for Humanity. Their mission for the next 10 weeks is to alleviate poverty throughout the area by building homes for struggling families. The team will be completing tasks such as framing, painting, and roofing. Corps Member Sammy Squeri said, “I am happy to be able to help create a place for people to feel safe and a place where they can celebrate family.”

Truman Heritage Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit Christian-based housing ministry seeking to eliminate poverty and to showcase the importance of low-income housing as a matter of community conscience and call-to-action throughout the Eastern Jackson County, Mo. For more information about the Truman Heritage Habitat for Humanity affiliate visit their website at www.trumanheritagehabitat.org.

AmeriCorps NCCC is a full-time, residential, national service program in which 1,200 young adults serve nationwide each year. During their 10-month term, Corps Members – all 18 to 24 years old – work on teams of eight to 12 on projects that address critical needs related to natural and other disasters, infrastructure improvement, environmental stewardship and conservation, energy conservation, and urban and rural development. Members work on a series of different projects, typically lasting six to eight weeks each, to mentor students, construct and rehabilitate low-income housing, respond to natural disasters, clean up streams, help communities develop emergency plans, and address countless other local needs. The Southwest Region campus in Denver is one of five regional hubs in the United States and serves eight states in the southwest part of the country. The other campuses are located in Perry Point, Md., Vinton, Iowa, Vicksburg, Miss., and Sacramento, Calif.

In exchange for their service, Corps Members receive $5,550 to help pay for college, or to pay back existing student loans. Other benefits include a small living stipend, room and board, leadership development, increased self-confidence, and the knowledge that, through active citizenship, people can indeed make a difference. AmeriCorps NCCC is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service. The Corporation improves lives, strengthens communities, and fosters civic engagement through service and volunteering. For more information about AmeriCorps NCCC, visit the website at www.americorps.gov/nccc.

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