Free tax help and health screenings held in Region 8 - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Free tax help and health screenings held in Region 8

By Josh Harvison - bio | email

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – Residents across Region 8 Saturday were able to enjoy a free tax filing and health screening event at the St. Bernard's Auditorium. Volunteers with the United Way of Northeast Arkansas helped hundreds of people file for the Earned Income Tax Credit while health professionals performed free health screenings.

"It's called CASH. It's called Creating Awareness of Savings and Health. It's an event where the United Way has teamed up with community volunteers to help file the Earned Income Tax Credit," said Eric Watson with St. Bernard's. "A lot of that has gone unclaimed in this area just because of a lack of access to trained professionals to file those."

Watson said this was the second year the hospital and United Way have teamed up to assist those with taxes and health.

"February is Heart Health Month and St. Bernard's has always provided a heart health screening during the month of February and we decided it would be a good idea to team up with the United Way," said Watson.

"This year we've had a great response helping a lot of individuals who may not claim their earning income tax credit so we've had a really good turnout this year," said Debora Taylor. "They don't know about it, so what we're doing is through the creative awareness, making sure that they know about it and also how to save it and also have a health check."

Taylor said there were a few slots available for those who qualify for tax help. Call 870-935-3658 to see if you qualify and if you can get a slot reserved. Taylor said if the slots are filled, the United Way will try to help people find other assistance.

"Instead of going somewhere where they would pay $150, they're getting that money in their pocket and that's what's helping. That's groceries and gas," said Taylor.

"The advantage of it you can get your taxes done, but also you can access free screenings. We're checking cholesterol, anemia, glucose, blood pressure and we're offering a take home choler-rectal screening," said Watson. "If you had to go to the doctor's office and pay for it, that would be about the equivalent of a $200 office visit."

Copyright 2011 KAIT. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly