Since March 5, The Salvation Army in Cornwall, Ont., has been helping people in the area complete their annual income tax returns. In just five weeks, a dedicated group of volunteers has completed approximately 1,000 returns, and Oren Cole, corps leader, says he expects that number to climb to 1,500 by the end of April.
This is the first year that Cornwall Community Church has facilitated the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP), which serves individuals with low incomes and simple tax situations. Volunteer Andre Therriault, who coordinates the CVITP and has done similar programs in the past, approached The Salvation Army in February and asked if the corps could provide a venue. They were happy to help.
“I felt that it was something The Salvation Army could do to help people in Cornwall and show them that we are a socially conscious organization,” says Cole. “We're here to serve the community in whatever way we can. When needs arise, we try to address those needs.”
The corps advertised the CVITP at The Salvation Army food bank and then sent out press releases to inform the broader community.
Demand for the program, which operates five days a week, is constant, notes Cole. Therriault has completed most of the returns himself, but he is assisted by a team of six volunteers, all of whom have been accredited by the Canada Revenue Agency.
Cole hopes that the CVITP will become an annual program.
The Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP) will continue until April 30. To book an appointment, call The Salvation Army, Cornwall, at 613-932-7515 extension 8.