Heidi and Jorge have worked hard to build a solid financial future for themselves, their 24-year-old daughter, and their 3-year-old granddaughter. Heidi works part-time for the city of New Haven and Jorge works at MaturityWorks, a senior community service and employment program.

The couple celebrated a tremendous milestone this past year, having purchased a home in Hamden. They knew that they would need some help this tax season to ensure they received every last credit from their big purchase, including credit for their newly installed solar panels.

Filing their taxes alone was too daunting, and paying a professional on their tight budget wasn’t an option.

“Nowadays, everything is so expensive,” said Heidi.

That’s where VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) comes in, a program supported locally by United Way. Jorge learned about the free tax preparation services through a monthly staff meeting at his job, and decided to give it a try.

United Way helps families get on the path to financial stability. The VITA program is one way we help working individuals and families save money, and improve their finances.

Heidi and Jorge visited the site at the New Haven Free Public Library supported, in part, by Yale University student volunteers.

These volunteers are passionate, patient, and IRS-trained. Having someone who knows what they are doing makes a big difference, and ensures that filers get all the credits and deductions they qualify for.

Thanks to the support of United Way, Heidi and Jorge are using their tax return to pay for their granddaughter’s ballet lessons. They also plan to pay bills, put a portion into savings, and possibly take a vacation.

Heidi is paying it forward by instilling good financialand lifeadvice in her daughter.

“Work, save money, go to school, and reach for the skies,” Heidi tells her.

“Nowadays, everything is so expensive,” said Heidi.