Special to the
Opelika Observer

Goodwill Industries of the Southern Rivers, Inc. is in need of volunteers to support its free tax preparation services offered to the community. 
 Each year, Goodwill provides free tax preparation services to the community through a partnership with the IRS. The program, known as VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance), recruits and trains volunteers to prepare free tax returns for households that earn fewer than $54,000 annually.
Volunteers commit to a minimum of 30 hours between January and April, all while gaining valuable work experience, becoming certified in tax law and helping taxpayers in the community. If you are a college student and are required to complete volunteer hours, this is a great opportunity to volunteer, learn a skill and build your resume. 
 Volunteers are needed at the Goodwill career centers in Midtown Columbus, Newnan, Opelika and Phenix City. Volunteer opportunities include intake/greeter and tax preparers. Volunteers are also required to complete tax preparer training and certification before tax season begins. Training sessions can be found at  www.goodwillsr.org/vitavolunteer, where those interested can register and sign up to be a VITA volunteer. Individuals interested in volunteering are also invited to attend the VITA Volunteer Information Session on Nov.21 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Midtown Career Center off of Macon Road.
 Goodwill has offered free tax prep for the community through the VITA program for ten years. So far in 2019, 3,950 individuals and families have received free tax services, which has generated a $10 million economic impact. For more information on the free tax services offered by Goodwill please visit, www.goodwillsr.org/vita.
 Individuals who are interested in becoming a VITA volunteer or have further questions can email Goodwill at volunteers@gwisr.org, contact our Financial Services Department at 706-256-1837 or attend the VITA information session on Nov. 21.
About Goodwill Southern Rivers: Goodwill Industries of the Southern Rivers (GoodwillSR) is one of 158 independent, community- based Goodwill nonprofits across the United States and Canada. Headquartered in Columbus, GoodwillSR serves 50 counties throughout East Alabama and West Georgia. We provide employment readiness training, computer access, educational assistance, skills workshops and more to spur job placement and economic stability in the communities we serve. They can provide these and other programs thanks to the continued donations of giving patrons. They use the revenue generated in GoodwillSR stores to fund the majority of their community services.
For more information about Goodwill Industries of the Southern Rivers, visit www.goodwillsr.org.