Asset Building

Building Assets and Lives

With tax season in full swing, many of us may be dreading the moment when we have to sit down with our piles of receipts and W-2s and fill out our tax returns.  But for some women in our community, tax time could be the moment when life changes.

Griselda Zarrilla is a cleaner who lives in Southeast D.C.  The mother of two teenage girls, Griselda went to one of our Grantee Partners, Capital Area Asset Builders (CAAB), for help with her taxes and discovered that she was eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), the federal credit for low- to moderate-income working taxpayers.  After having her taxes prepared at a free tax prep site, Griselda received a significant refund.

She’s using the money to pay the mortgage on her home and to send her daughters to college.  “Providing an education to my children is my main goal,” Griselda says.  “I want them to have all the opportunities I didn’t have.”

CAAB’s work has changed the life of one woman who is passing the benefits on to her children; and Griselda’s is just one story out of many.  Last year, Grantee Partners helped women gain more than $3.7 million in assets.  Two-thirds of that was from the EITC.  That’s nearly $4 million that benefitted not only women, but the rest of their families as well.

CAAB has been a Women’s Foundation Grantee Partner since 2005.  This nonprofit’s mission is to put people on the road to financial independence.  Their programs help low- and moderate-income individuals and families improve their money management skills, increase their savings and build wealth by investing wisely. CAAB achieves these goals by sponsoring financial workshops and a matched savings program to promote home ownership, postsecondary education and small business development.

CAAB and Community Tax Aid, another Foundation Grantee Partner, are involved in the DC Earned Income Tax Credit Campaign, which provides free, high quality financial and tax preparation services to thousands of taxpayers in D.C. CAAB believes that anyone can become a college graduate, homeowner or successful business owner and is working to ensure that all District residents have opportunities to save and invest in their dreams