United Way of Whatcom County recently awarded a grant of $8,000 to the Whatcom Asset Building Coalition (WABC) to support income growth in Whatcom County.
WABC is a community collaboration supporting financial self-sufficiency through education and advocacy. Like United Way of Whatcom County, WABC promotes financial stability and independence in Whatcom County by helping individuals learn techniques to increase income and build savings.
“It is a community mobilization project,” Peter Theisen, United Way of Whatcom County president, said in a press release. “It directly addresses the community’s needs and connects with United Way of Whatcom County’s efforts to help residents not only increase their income but also maintain their assets, which leads to financial independence.”
The Opportunity Council, a nonprofit community action agency, serves as the lead agency for the WABC. United Way of Whatcom County has been a committed member of the WABC since the coalition’s inception.
“We’re really grateful for this opportunity,” Anjali Englund, outreach and development coordinator for the Opportunity Council, said in the release. “The support from United Way of Whatcom County helps bring together stakeholders like financial advisers and counselors and give people a pathway out of crisis not only in the short-term but more importantly, long-term.”
The grant will help WABC expand free tax preparation services and increase the number of working families that claim the anti-poverty Earned Income Tax Credit to receive more money on their tax return. Last tax season, more than 2,300 returns were prepared at free tax preparation sites in Whatcom County.
The coalition’s website, www.whatcomabc.org, offers an interactive map of free tax preparation sites, a comparison chart on basic checking account fees and a calendar of scheduled finance classes.