Tax preparation assistance eases anxieties
Lois, Tracy and Maci wipe away the drudgery and
anxiety about tax filing for scores of people each year thanks to AARP’s free tax preparation partnership with Red Bird Mission Community Outreach. AARP provides computers, tax software and training so that free tax preparation is offered each year. Last year, state and federal tax returns were e-filed for 217 individuals by Community Outreach.
Lois Smith has volunteered for several years, now, and this year, is scheduling two days each week to sit down with folks to help them find every deduction or tax credit possible. Maci Gray, Red Bird Community Aid Coordinator, does much of the intake so that Tracy Nolan, Red Bird Community Outreach Director, and Lois can be efficient preparing the returns when clients come in. Some filings take as little as 15 minutes while some take as long as an hour and a half to complete, but the time spent can mean hundreds of dollars received in refunds.
The extra time taken to identify a family member that qualifies as a dependent, or an expense not previously claimed for another deduction translates into refunds that are needed to pay past due utility bills, vehicle repairs, or urgent family needs. Tracy says that the process at Red Bird often goes beyond tax preparation to giving financial counseling and financial planning tips for retirement.
Alice Lloyd and Red Bird – 100 years of opportunities for mountain students
A group of junior and senior Red Bird Christian School students visited Alice Lloyd College in nearby Pippa Passes, Kentucky this week to explore the opportunities available for a four-year degree. Alice Lloyd, like Red Bird, provides tuition assistance opportunities that frees
graduates from long-term student debt. Some of the assistance comes through on-campus work experiences. It’s not surprising that many Red Bird alumni are also Alice Lloyd alums because it also offers the option to stay in the mountains for their college education. Mrs. Natasha Howard, our Red Bird Christian High School English & Drama teacher, and her husband, Derek, are just two of the proud graduates of Alice Lloyd College coming from the Red Bird area!
ELEVATE – The pathway to serving health needs
Red Bird Community Health continues the legacy of helping meet health needs that began over 100 years ago when a nurse, Lydia Rice, came to Red Bird. Since 2011, Red Bird has employed a nurse or health worker to bridge the gaps between our clinic (now operated by Manchester AdventHealth) and needed social determinants for good community health. Community residents living in the Red Bird Mission service area benefited previously because a Community Health Care Worker from the Kentucky Homeplace program came weekly to assist with health insurance and other needs related to health that aren’t cared for in the medical clinic.
Colleen Sturgill, Red Bird Community Health Coordinator, and Maci Gray, Red Bird Community Aid Coordinator, recently began year-long apprenticeship program called, ELEVATE, through the University of Kentucky College of Medicine’s Center for Rural Health Care Excellence. After a series of trainings and supervised work experiences, both will be certified as Community Health Care Workers giving them the skills and knowledge to help people with limited income obtain free or discounted health insurance, eyeglasses, insurance, medication, and durable medical equipment whenever someone comes to Red Bird needing assistance.