Westminster, CA—On Saturday, April 8th, Abrazar Inc., an Orange County United Way, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) partner hosted an event to raise awareness of California’s Earned Income Tax Credit along with CalEITC4Me.
The event included a tour of their facility and how they made this nonprofit organization grow into something extraordinary. The event was hosted by Joseph Sanberg, Chair of CalEITC4Me, and Senator Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove).
Founded in 1975, the foundation started with the idea of helping senior citizens, who had trouble with English, translate and process their taxes. The program was started in a small house and as the program grew, so did the need for the program to occupy its current, larger facility.The current location has six stations, all dedicated to helping the community; whether it’s assistance with taxes and educating clients about California’s Earned Income Tax Credit and the CalEITC4Me initiative, dental work, housing, mock interviews or an after school program for children, nothing is wasted.
Abrazar is packed with volunteers—recruits come in from United Way (another one of their programs), the IRS, and Sparkpoint, (a program that makes doing taxes more effective).
New technology at Abrazar made it possible to help more members of the community. The staff can use a remotely controlled computer software to connect with those at home. This way, the agency makes sure tax assistance as well as information regarding CalEITC4Me is also available to homebound clients.Isash Cham, a Communications major at Santa Ana College, made her way to Abrazar Saturday morning for the second time. She found the service friendly and professional. Cham said, “Yes, I would recommend it. I mean it’s free, so why not? It’s very useful.”Another visitor, Debra Fragman, who came to Abrazar because it was such services were unavailable in her area, found the process easy. She shared her belief that the program is useful. Fragman is considered low income. She shared how the services provided took a load of stress off her shoulders. “When you’re low income, what are you gonna do?” Fragman asked rhetorically.
It’s the agency’s bright atmosphere and kindness that keeps people coming back. The service is quick, and even with the tour happening that day, the staff made sure the clients came first.
However, with growing concerns over immigration enforcement, fear has prevented some immigrants from filing their taxes. Gloria Reyes, who has worked at the facility for over 42 years said, “People are afraid their information isn’t going to be protected. The minute that asks us–or any of the staff here–to provide proof of legal status, that is the day that we stop providing service because we are not I.C.E.”
Abrazar Inc. wants to remain a place people can rely on. The event was an amazing demonstration of their talents and dedication to the people they serve.
For more information regarding Abrazar Inc. and the services it provides call (714) 893-3581 or visit 7101 Wyoming St, Westminster, CA 92683. To learn more about California’s Earned Income Tax Credit visit www.CalEITC4Me.org.