Joseph McKeen
Center for the Common Good

Students File Free Taxes for Low-Income Families

Story posted February 23, 2012

Bowdoin’s Ca$h Coalition, one of the McKeen Center’s 28 student-led service groups, was recently profiled in the Bowdoin Daily Sun as the tax season begins in earnest.  In a partnership between Bowdoin and Volunteers of America Northern New England (VOANNE), the project started in 2009 – uniquely stemming from both student and faculty initiative.  Presented with the opportunity and the need, the McKeen Center convened a group of students, faculty and staff with representatives from VOANNE for a conversation.  Several students agreed to coordinate student volunteers for the Midcoast Ca$h Coalition, while several faculty members in economics worked to incorporate course connections.  That spring, the combination of these projects set the stage for a long-term initiative.   Today, every year during tax season Bowdoin hosts evening support workshops on campus for low-income families seeking help with their tax returns. 

As with many of the McKeen Center’s service groups, Bowdoin’s Ca$h Coalition provides an important opportunity for students to connect with and learn more about the greater Brunswick community and the pressing public problems communities face everywhere.  The process of preparing others’ taxes provides Bowdoin students with a hands-on application of their education and with an intimate look at some of the economic difficulties facing individuals in the Midcoast Maine region.

The full article about the Ca$h Coalition may be found here.

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"It's a really interesting way to connect with the community," Chris Kan '13 said. "It's put me in touch with the local culture; and helped me build a bond to Maine."