Subitted by Liz Bean, Coordinator of Volunteer Services
Tax Returns Made a Little Easier
Preparing a tax return can be a daunting task for people who have recently arrived in Canada, and who are unfamiliar with the Canadian income tax process. Many countries either do not have any such requirement, or the income tax process is different from the Canadian system.
Luckily, ICA offers the free Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP), a Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) sponsored service from March 8 – 30, 2016. The objective of this program is to help eligible low-income clients who are not able to prepare their income tax and benefit returns on their own, and who have a very simple, straight forward tax situation. ICA is one of several organizations partnering with CVITP in this effort, in which volunteers will help clients fill out income tax forms, provide information, and answer inquiries about the Canadian income tax process. By the end of this season, we expect volunteers will have helped over 200 clients file their tax returns.
Many thanks to our volunteers for your incredible support!
Writing is the Spice of Life
The ICA Pen Pal Program is off and running! ICA volunteers are matched with newcomer students in an ICA intermediate level English language class to exchange letters over a 3-month period, between February and May 2016. The first letters from volunteers were delivered to class on February 17. And, ohhh the excitement! Students couldn’t wait to respond to their Pen Pal. This program provides support to English language learners by giving them an opportunity to practice their writing skills as well as establish friendships and community connections. The Pen Pal matches will meet one another for the first time at a potluck held at the end of the program… and as always, it will be a good time!
Thanks so much to all of our wonderful volunteers for reaching out and making a connection!
Practicing English is Fun
The Conversation Buddy (C’ Buddy) program has a great group of volunteers who lead conversation circles in our English Language classes each week – bringing their energy, enthusiasm and warm sense of humour to each session. The program offers a wonderful opportunity for newcomers and established community members to meet, chat, and enjoy the beauty of inter-cultural exchange. The C’ Buddy Program is about building bridges between newcomer immigrants and the wider community to help create a more welcoming Victoria. For this school term the program began in January and will run through April, closing with a festive potluck with an array of delicious cultural delights.
Thank you to our amazing volunteers for making this opportunity possible!