An upcoming event in Ypsilanti will offer free tax preparation for households making $56,000 or less, in addition to financial workshops on topics ranging from improving credit scores to starting a small business or "side hustle."
That event, Show Me the Money Day 2020, will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 7 at the Eastern Michigan University (EMU) College of Business, 300 W. Michigan Ave. in Ypsilanti. United Way of Washtenaw County is hosting the event in partnership with Ypsi-based investing firm Revalue and EMU.
Bridget Healy, United Way of Washtenaw County's vice president of impact and advocacy, says the annual event has "evolved" over the last five years and has included a variety of partners over time. In the first iteration, United Way of Washtenaw County partnered with Ypsilanti Community Schools, and a talent show was part of the event. This year, Healy says event organizers were excited to partner with Revalue and "add value by getting the business sector perspective."
As a member of the Community and Economic Development Association of Michigan (CEDAM), United Way of Washtenaw County joins CEDAM members across Michigan who host similar events annually between January and April.
"One lesson we've learned is that offering a standalone resource fair doesn't get traction," Healy says. "Asking someone to attend a financial counseling workshop is like asking someone to eat broccoli, so it's important to pair it with something that people want and need, and in this case, that's free tax preparation."
Other workshop topics will include homebuying and paying off student debt.
The Collaborative: Ypsilanti YMCA Child Development Center and local nonprofit Mentor 2 Youth will provide free on-site daycare to allow parents to attend workshops, and the event will include free food and raffle prizes.
Healy says the event aligns with United Way of Washtenaw County's focus on promoting financial stability.
"It's important to us to continue to provide this event as long as the community wants us to provide it," Healy says.
To check income eligibility guidelines and schedule a tax preparation appointment for Show Me the Money Day, visit uwgive.org/freetaxhelp or call (734) 677-7235.
Sarah Rigg is a freelance writer and editor in Ypsilanti Township and the project manager of On the Ground Ypsilanti. She joined Concentrate as a news writer in early 2017 and is an occasional contributor to other Issue Media Group publications. You may reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo courtesy of United Way of Washtenaw County.