The "We Connect Campaign" is a program that reaches out to more than 600,000 California families that are eligible for credit, but not claiming it.
And California's First lady was in Fresno Tuesday to make sure people in the Valley take advantage of the help.
Don Rhoads got a late start on his taxes this year and jumped at the chance to get some free assistance Tuesday afternoon.
"This is a dynamic action for the people who really need the service," Rhoads said.
Rhoads was among hundreds who took advantage of free tax preparations offered at Manchester Center; part of this year's "We Connect Tour" where Maria Shriver spotlighted a growing segment of the population.
"Millions of families in this state are struggling below the poverty line. Millions of families are eligible for programs that were perhaps last year had jobs and were living in their homes and had very different lives," Shriver said.
They are lives that could use a little lift, and Shriver says it could come in the form of welfare, food stamps, and energy assistance.
For many at the event, they learned they qualify for the earned income tax credit; a huge help they didn't know they had.
"These are people that feel unseen, uncared for, for whom government is complicated and far away. And there's just no way to figure out how to navigate that," Shriver said.
Shriver says programs like "We Connect" are crucial in putting people in touch with the resources that can really make a difference, both in their individual lives and the economy as a whole.
"The money these people are getting from these services directly goes into the economy. They will save some of it. But they use it right away to buy clothes, to buy food, to pay down their house," Shriver said.
For Don Rhoads, the help he's getting now will save him money in the long run.
"Very nice and speedy, and I'm very happy to see this fella is pre-examining the situation," Rhoads said of the man helping him.
And now his late start may turn in to an unexpected benefit.
Maria Shriver's trip to Fresno was the final stop in a state-wide tour promoting the program.
Cal Trans is closing roads and highways on May 19th. The closures are in effect from 8am- 4pm.Westbound State Route (SR) 168 connector ramp to westbound SR 180 Westbound (SR) 180 connector ramp to northboundMore >>
Cal Trans is closing roads and highways on May 19th. The closures are in effect from 8am- 4pm.More >>
A lottery official says 1 winning ticket has been sold in Florida for a record Powerball jackpot of more than $590 million. Terry Rich, a lottery official in Iowa, confirmed the ticket matching all sixMore >>
A lottery official says 1 winning ticket has been sold in Florida for a record Powerball jackpot of more than $590 million.More >>
Reedley High School teachers and students are in shock after a pack of five stray dogs mauled more than 70 animals. The attack took place at Reedley High's Farm, on the campus, around six Friday morning. ReedleyMore >>
Reedley high school teachers and students are in shock after a pack of five stray dogs mauled more than 70 animals.
The attack took place at Reedley High's Farm, on the campus, around six Friday morning.More >>
Fresno police are searching for a man who robbed a local fast-food restaurant over the weekend and got away with an undisclosed amount of cash. The robbery took place at 12:45 a.m. on Saturday at the JackMore >>
Fresno police are searching for a man who robbed a local fast-food restaurant over the weekend and got away with an undisclosed amount of cash.More >>