Daily Point of Light # 3104 Dec 28, 2005

The Juvenile Welfare Board (JWB) of Pinellas County, Florida supports the healthy development of all children and their families in the county through advocacy research, planning, training, communicating, coordinating of resources and funding. The organization has conducted Earned Income Credit (EIC) outreach since 1989. In each of the last several years, JWB sent tax credit information to more than 7,200 chambers of commerce, human services agencies, schools and others. The organization also targeted businesses employing low-wage workers, including motels, hotels and restaurants. EIC and Child Tax Credit outreach materials were sent home with 43,000 children who attended day care facilities and were included in more than 135,000 bills sent to water customers in several municipalities. In formation in Spanish, Bosnian and several Asian languages was made available to groups serving people who speak English as a second language.

Since 2002, JWB has collaborated with the Wealth Building Coalition of Pinellas County, which recently expanded to cover the entire Tampa Bay are, to offer and promote free tax preparation services. This regional effort, renamed the Prosperity Campaign of Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties, has utilized both the staff and computer resources of several JWB funded Neighborhood Family Centers. These sites, which have only operated through the efforts of over 100 volunteers, have helped several thousand individuals claim the tax benefits to which they are entitled at no cost. By voluntarily extending its efforts beyond its usual functions and roles, the Juvenile Welfare Board has served as both the catalyst and foundation for a coalition of organizations and individuals that are directly impacting the lives of those most in need of assistance.