United Way of the Wine Country has been dedicated to improving lives locally for 50 years. Everyone deserves a good life: a quality education that leads to a stable job, income that can support a family through retirement, and good health. To create lasting change, United Way focuses on solving the underlying causes of common problems related to education, income and health. We are committed to achieving lasting solutions - not just quick fixes - for our entire community.
How are you going to save your refund this year? Tax time is the perfect time for savings! No matter a small or large amount, every cent counts when saving for an emergency or financial goal. Having savings can provide a cushion, while helping you reach your dreams.
What are you saving for? Maybe it is for a car repair, rent, bills, college or retirement. Even putting aside a part of your tax refund this year can offer peace of mind for the future. Ask you tax preparer at a free VITA site how you can save some of your refund!
In addition, when you save $50 or more of your refund at one of our tax sites, you will be entered into a local United Way of the Wine Country and national Save Your Refund raffle for weekly drawings of $100!
Santa Rosa Woman Chosen as 2017 SaveYourRefund Grand Prize Winner
This tax season, a very fortunate Santa Rosa EKS client, Ivonne Sonato-Vega, received $25,000 when she was selected as the national Grand Prize Photo Contest winner of the 2017 SaveYourRefund Promotion administered by Commonwealth and America Saves. Ivonne was presented the winning check on June 14 at a reception hosted and sponsored by Sonoma County Winegrowers. SaveYourRefund incentivizes savings at tax time by offering cash prizes for filers who save at least $50 of their tax refund into a qualified savings product. In 2017, over 2,800 tax filers entered SaveYourRefund and saved nearly $2.5 million. Of those filers, more than 350 contributed submissions to the Grand Prize Contest which asked them to share their motivations for savings through a captioned photograph.
Upon receiving her grand prize, Ivonne stated, “United Way inspired me to enter the contest and tell my personal savings story about why I needed to save money and what mattered to me in my life. I guess it’s easy to think your story is not harder or any different from others. They really made me feel like my story was a story of persistence and determination.” In describing how she plans to use her winnings, the mother of three girls explained, “Thanks to United Way, Commonwealth, and America Saves, I am able to pursue my dreams to become a NICU nurse and help other families who are in the same situation I was with my premature daughters. It also gives me the ability to save up even more for a down payment for a house.”
Mike Kallhoff, United Way of the Wine Country President and CEO, stated, “It is exciting to see the EKS program continue to expand each year in order to help more local individuals and families receive much needed tax refunds and credits to help make ends meet.” In response to the Santa Rosa winner of SaveYourRefund, Mike explained, “We encourage tax filers to save a portion of their refund, and seeing Ivonne receive the big grand prize by doing just that helps to show others why increasing savings can reap huge long-term rewards.”