West

Washington

140619_her07_02Jill McGovern

Age: 34
Hometown: Seattle
Cause: Free tax preparation

McGovern had been volunteering for a year in various opportunities when she tried free tax prep for low-­income families. It clicked. Over the past five years McGovern has recruited 30 of her co-­workers to join her in the United Way center she persuaded her employer to fund. “While sitting behind computers and doing numbers might not appeal to some people,” she says, “it does to ­Microsoft employees.” One ­victory: getting a recent immigrant a $1,500 refund after a for-profit preparer had quoted a $400 fee for the same service. ­McGovern’s group has prepared 2,733 tax returns, resulting in $3.6 million in refunds.

Says McGovern:

Our clients almost always get a refund, and you get to deliver that great message. That feels really good.”

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