55 Years of Community Action in the Heart of Appalachia


Formerly known as RADA, AppCAA has effectively served the needs of low- to- moderate income individuals in southwest Virginia since 1965. AppCAA serves Lee, Scott and Wise Counties as well as the City of Norton.

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Community Needs Assessment 2020

Employment Opportunities

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Press Release

Struggling to pay utilities? The Lee County Community Foundation and AppCAA can help.

If you are a resident of Lee County who is having trouble making ends meet and are unable to pay your utilities, Appalachian Community Action and Development (AppCAA) might be able to provide support.

AppCAA was recently awarded a grant from the Lee County Community Foundation for the Utility Assistance Project. Through this initiative, qualifying individuals may receive up to a $250 payment towards a utility bill (including heating fuel, electricity, water and sewer services). To be eligible, the applicant must:

  • Meet income guidelines

  • Meet work requirements

  • Have made a payment towards the bill in the past 3 months

  • Attend three financial literacy sessions.

To find out more about this project and how you can get assistance, call AppCAA’s Jonesville office at: 276-346-0054 or visit www.appcaa.org.

Foundations of Fintech

AppCAA has partnered with 4-H Wise County, Wise County Public Schools and Spartan Node to introduce Financial Technology concepts (like blockchain and cryptocurrency) to high school students participating in Economics and Personal Finance classes. With support from the Kazanjian Economics Foundation, AppCAA has delivered the courses to more than 120 students.

The objective of the course is to provide students with an overview of financial technology (FinTech) and introductions to how it is used for financial services. Modules are overlaid onto the State of Virginia’s Economics and Personal Finance Standards of Learning for high school students. Students are developing a broad understanding of what FinTech is, how it is used at present and how it affects students’ lives. They gain knowledge about the types of jobs available in the sector and become more confident in using FinTech. Students also have hands-on problem-solving experiences that can be useful in FinTech applications and innovation. Topics include:

Making digital payments and using mobile banking services

Introduction to blockchain

Preventing fraud and scams

FinTech Careers

Project Background:

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) grant program is an Internal Revenue Service initiative supporting free tax preparation service for the underserved. AppCAA provides these free tax preparation services to any individual/family who requests it, regardless of their income or state of residency. In 2021, the number of individuals requesting this assistance increased by more than 30 percent, and we anticipate interest to grow in 2022. Tax preparation season begins in late January and ends in April. Volunteer positions are virtual.

Position Details:

Volunteer Interpreter (on call)

Provide free interpretation services to customers at a Volunteer Tax site (e.g., non-English speaking and hearing-impaired) when necessary. Interpreter should be proficient in a particular interpreter skill (e.g., ability to translate to and from English, sign language). ASL and Spanish language skills are the greatest needs.


• Provide interpretation services when needed.

• Work with Volunteer Coordinator to ensure interpreter services are advertised in VITA site promotions.

• Basic tax knowledge (Form 1040, Form 1040A and Form 1040EZ) is helpful, but it is not required for this position. Basic tax training and certification will be provided if requested.

Volunteer Tax Preparer

Provide free tax return preparation for eligible taxpayers while providing quality customer service and upholding ethical standards.


Complete the Volunteer Standards of Conduct.

Complete tax law and electronic filing software training.

Provide high-quality tax return preparation to all taxpayers.

Using the appropriate Intake and Interview form, interview taxpayer to determine if all income, deductions and allowable credits are claimed.

Include taxpayer in the preparation of the return.

Refer customers with returns out of scope returns of the VITA program to a paid practitioner or firm.

Verify the returns have the correct Site Identification Number.

Advise the taxpayer that he/she is ultimately responsible for the information on the return before asking the taxpayer to sign the return.

Ensure Form 8879 is signed by the taxpayer before transmitting the return.

Ensure all returns you prepare are quality reviewed.

Volunteer Tax Screener

Provide support to the site and volunteer preparers by screening all taxpayers to ensure the taxpayer has necessary information and documents required to complete a tax return. Screeners cannot answer any tax law questions or determine certification levels unless they are certified in tax law. Note: A screener assisting taxpayers with any tax law topics, must be certified at the appropriate levels (Basic, Intermediate, Advanced, Military, etc), before providing assistance. A certified screener can determine the required certification levels needed for return preparation based on the taxpayer’s documentation and refer customers with out of scope returns to a tax practitioner.


• Develop a log or check sheet to sign in taxpayers needing assistance.

• Greet all taxpayers visiting the site.

• Give each taxpayer Form 13614-C, Intake/Interview & Quality Review Sheet.

• Screen taxpayers to determine the type of assistance they will need.

• Ensure the taxpayer has brought the required documents (e.g. valid picture identification, Social Security card(s), W-2, 1099’s, last year’s return) from which a tax return can be completed.

Volunteer Quality Reviewer

Provide quality review of all tax returns completed by Volunteer Tax Preparers at the volunteer tax site. Ensure every customer visiting the site receives top quality service and that the tax returns are error-free.


• Conduct a quality review using Form 13614-C, Section C, on all returns prepared at the site.

• Before asking the taxpayer to sign Form 8879 or the return, advise the taxpayer that he/she is ultimately responsible for the information on the return.

• Explain to the taxpayer that by signing the return, it guarantees that the taxpayer has examined the return and its accompanying forms and schedules for accuracy.

• Provide feedback to your Volunteer Tax Preparers regarding any errors made on tax returns.

To Apply: Send a message of interest to: hr@appcaa.org or call: 276-452-2441.


How Can We Help?

Childrens' Programs

After School Food Program
Imagination Library
Summer Food Program

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Business & Economic Development

Financial Coaching & Empowerment
Financial Workshops
Tax Preparation Service - VITA

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Volunteer Programs

AmeriCorps VISTA
Retired Seniors Volunteer Program

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Housing & Community Solutions

CHORE Program
Emergency utility services
Housing Counseling
Indoor Plumbing & Rehabilitation
New Eyes for the Needy
SafeLink Cellphone

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