Strategic Initiatives

Our Initiatives

In addition to our funded programs, United Way also supports several initiatives that improve our community.

United Way of Central Massachusetts is part of the Worcester Free Tax Service Coalition. The Worcester Free Tax Coalition is making tax credits and tax preparation more accessible to those who need it most. Workers who qualify for the EITC credit and file an income tax return can get FREE tax preparation by IRS-certified preparers.

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What is the EITC credit?

The EITC is a federal tax refund for eligible working individuals and households. Through the Worcester Free Tax Coalition, United Way of Central Massachusetts is making this tax credit more easily accessible to those who need it most.

You must have earned income to apply for the EITC.  The EITC is a tax benefit for low to moderate-income working individuals and families. Workers who qualify for the EITC and file an income tax return can receive a refund, even if they had no income tax liability for the given year.

Why is the EITC important?

Each year, low-income families substantially increase their annual income by utilizing the EITC. In fact, the EITC lifts more families out of poverty than any other federal aid program, providing families an opportunity to increase savings, reduce debt, and finance education or training programs.


Reality of EITC losses:  Each year, the EITC credits that go unclaimed by low- and moderate-income workers represent millions of dollars of lost revenue that would otherwise boost local economies.


FREE TAX PREPARATION SERVICES: The Worcester Free Tax Service Coalition  provides IRS-trained volunteers to prepare and file tax returns for free.

United Way’s Role

Focus on Family Stability: United Way is connecting people and resources to improve the community by focusing on the building blocks for a good life: Education, Family Stability, and Health. Through the Earned Income Tax Credit Initiative, UWCM is addressing Financial Stability by helping taxpayers claim federal rebates and working to achieve its goal to reduce the child poverty rate in central Massachusetts. More about Family Stability.


What we’re doing:  We are part of the Worcester Free Tax Service Coalition, which is working to create awareness about the EITC and engage volunteers to help prepare taxes for free. The Coalition recruits volunteers to serve at VITA sites and helps people claim eligible tax credits. Through financial education classes, we are also working with tax payers to increase knowledge about budgeting and credit repair.


Our Sponsors: Bank of America and Internal Revenue Service


Our Coalition Partners: The Worcester EITC Coalition partners include: AllCom Credit Union, Assumption College, City Manager’s Office of Economic Development, The Community Builders/Plumley Village, FDIC, Internal Revenue Service, Main South CDC, Office of Congressman James P. McGovern, Quinsigamond Community College, Southeast Asian Coalition of Central Massachusetts, Unum, United Way of Central Massachusetts, WCCA TV-13, Worcester Community Action Council Inc, and Worcester State University.

AFL-CIO United Way Partnership

The AFL/CIO is dedicated to providing the best services available to its membership. With this in mind, they formed a partnership with the United Way of Central Massachusetts over 40 years ago. The partnership has provided solutions in creating a stronger community that provides a great place for union members to live, work, raise children and retire.  The partnership is an essential part of the solutions needed to continue strengthening the community.  Working together, the AFL/CIO United Way partnership provides members with the opportunity to shape their community through volunteer services and a direct link to information on health, and human services.

AFL-CIO Community Services Program

The Community Services Program coordinates many programs to benefit members of organized labor, their families and the community at large. Members of organized labor participate in United Way’s Day of Caring, organize the Handicapped Ramp Program, NALC food drive, the Holiday toy drive and other special projects. One of the most important roles of the Community Services Program is to design and provide training sessions for union members, their families and other community partners.

NALC Food Drive

On the second Saturday in May, the National Association of Letter Carriers hold their annual Stamp Out Hunger in America National Food Drive. Nearly 1,500 local branches in more than 10,000 cities and towns across America, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands participate in the program. This food drive, the largest single volunteer day in America, depends on the generous efforts of letter carriers across the nation, as well as the outstanding support of the Campbell soup Company, America’s Second Harvest, local United Ways, and the AFL/CIO. By the end of the day, in addition to the daily mail, the NALC collected a record 70.9 million pounds of food for the hungry in America. NALC President William Young commented, “Many of the recipients are from working families, people who just need a helping hand to get through some tough times.” 

Handicap Ramp Program

Local union members volunteer here in our community identifying agencies, families and individuals who are in need of handicap – accessibility. They donate their time and supplies to construct ramps that significantly improve the quality of life for people in our community. Carpenters local 107 have been instrumental in organizing the engineering side of the handicap ramp process, and partner with the AFL/CIO Labor Director at the United Way to build secure, well-constructed ramps.

For more information on Labor Services, contact Paul SoucyDirector of Labor – AFL/CIO at (508) 757-5631 ext 212.


Just as you would call 9-1-1 in an emergency, United Way of Central Massachusetts has partnered with other United Ways  across the state, to establish a free, confidential hotline to help with non-life threatening needs. 211 is an easy to remember telephone number that connects callers to information about health and human services available in their community. It serves as a resource for finding government benefits and services, non-profit organizations, support groups, volunteer opportunities, donation programs, and other local resources.

Calling 211 is:

  • Free
  • Confidential
  • Available 24 hours-a-day / 7 days-a-week
  • Multi-lingual
  • Available immediately during times of crisis, to field calls regarding the event and to direct callers to services most appropriate for their needs
  • Is an easy way to find or give help in your community
  • Maintains the integrity of the 9-1-1 system saving that vital community resource for life and death emergencies


Visit Mass 211’s website to Learn more.

In partnership with United Way, FamilyWize, a unique national grassroots community initiative offering free prescription assistance to millions of Americans, is dedicated to reducing the cost of prescription medicine for individuals and families through distribution of free prescription savings cards. For more information, visit the FamilyWize website.

Just present your card when filling a prescription. Accepted at more than 60,000 pharmacies nationwide, including CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Target, Kmart, and Walmart.

The average discount is 40% and is sometimes as much as 75% or more.

No enrollment or activation required.

Get your FREE card today!