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Monthly Archives: October 2013

You May Not Be Dreaming of a White Christmas…

liveunited-snowmanBut many Marion County residents are dreaming about toys for their kids for the holidays. While Salvation Army and Toys for Tots have wrapped up their application process for the year, not to worry… there are still a few options out there. For more details about these opportunities, simply dial 2-1-1 or text your zip code to 898-211 for free 24 hours a day. To create a memorable experience for your children without spending money, also check out the Go Guide for dozens of free community events this season in Marion County

St Marks United Methodist: Free pancakes with Santa on Dec (more…)

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LIVE UNITED: Volunteer Spotlight VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance)

KenVitaRetirement hasn’t put Ken Harper on the sidelines. Instead, for the past three years he has devoted himself to volunteering as a tax preparer with United Way’s VITA program. His 32 years as general manager of the Army and Air Force exchange service and 13 years with H & R Block as a tax specialist and trainer has proven to be invaluable to our VITA program. Ken assists with training new volunteers and mentors them as they prepare their first returns assuring accuracy and compliance with tax law. Additionally, Ken is a “Golden Hammer” with Habitat for Humanity, helping to build homes for families in need of a hand up.

Because of Ken’s dedication and that of a team of other VITA volunteers, Marion County residents saved over $234,300 in filing fees and $2,183,888 in federal tax refunds were returned to Marion County. Thank you Ken, for your faithful service to United Way’s VITA program!

Are You a Wanderer?

lost“Not all those who wander are lost”… but for those who are, Marion County has your back. Anyone who has had a family member, who suffers from memory loss or has special needs, wander off can attest to the fear it can strike in your heart. Thankfully Marion County police and sheriff’s departments have programs where you can go to get something called an identification device. Some programs provide a medic alert type of bracelet or necklace and others simply keep a photo and information on file to facilitate quick reunification with caregivers.

To find out where to go to get a device for your loved one, simply dial 2-1-1 and we can point you in the right direction.

Health Insurance Enrollment Has Begun

Insurance enrollment has begun with HealthCare.gov as of October 1st. Heart of Florida Health Center is taking calls. If  you have been rejected for Medicaid in the past, you can still apply now. If you don’t have health insurance, call 2-1-1 to find out how to apply or visit www.healthcare.gov. At times people are experiencing a wait time, when accessing the healthcare.gov website(due to the large number of people accessing the website), to be directed to the login page, this may take a few minutes. The website is available 24/7, so we encourage you to try accessing the website outside of standard business hours for a shorter(or no) wait time.

Key Dates:

October 1, 2013: Open Enrollment Begins
January 1, 2014: Coverage can begin
March 31, 2014: Must apply for insurance or have an exemption by this date. Learn about the many ways people are exempt from required health coverage and fees as well as how to apply for the exemption: here.

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