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New Volunteers to be Opportunity Guides

Written by New Ventures Maine | Published on January 26, 2018
Several people pictured, some seated, some standing, all people posed and facing the camera. All wearing matching vests.

Aroostook County CASH is proud to be working with The County Federal Credit Union this year as part of their free tax preparation program. Last year the program’s Asset Organizer met with over 500 households at their tax sites. She helped taxpayers make the most of their money by connecting them to local resources and programs. Because they wanted grow the program they realized they would need to change the way they did things. One person alone could not do the job.

Fast forward to this season and Aroostook CA$H has a goal to serve 700 households. Therefore, they added more appointment dates to their existing 3 locations (Fort Kent, Presque Isle, and Houlton). Because they want all taxpayers to be able to meet with someone about their financial needs and goals they looked to The County Federal Credit Union for help. The Credit Union encouraged its employees to volunteer for this valuable component of the free tax sites. Consequently, eighteen volunteers from four branches and an Operations Center stepped up to take on the role of Opportunity Guide.

“The CA$H program offers a tremendous benefit to the Aroostook County community, and we are proud as a credit union team to sponsor this program and provide our employee volunteer support,” said Dan Bagley, Executive Vice President of The County Federal Credit Union. “Sponsoring and volunteering for a program that promotes financial literacy and ways to improve someone’s financial life ties back to the original mission of why credit unions were created.”

Each of the 18 volunteers participated in one of five Opportunity Guide training sessions held over three days. The trainings were led by Aroostook CA$H Asset Organizer Athena Hallowell, Coalition Lead Sherry Locke, and NVME’s Regional Manager/Workforce Development Specialist Suzanne Senechal-Jandreau. Aroostook CA$H is extremely lucky to have these volunteers and are excited to see how their involvement improves the program. The taxpayers they will work with are sure to benefit!