The Becerras’ phone call is one I count on each tax season. In the eight years I’ve been with Prepare + Prosper, Edgar and Yessenia Becerra have driven the 60 miles one way from Pine City, Minnesota, to have their taxes prepared with us, and they were coming years before me. They always ask for the next Saturday we have five appointments available. What started with just Edgar and Yessenia has grown to include their brother and sister-in-law and now their children, who have begun to file for the first time. It’s a family event.

The Becerra family, for me, expresses what our work is all about. We strive to be not only a free service but a trusted one for the community. One that people can count on to get their taxes done right and to help them make the most of their refund. For me, it’s especially important that the Latino community feels comfortable coming to us for help and guidance on taxes. We serve people who work extremely hard for their money, and being able to work with them to navigate the tax system, file taxes, and think about how to use their refund, especially in their native language, is so important to their financial well-being.

Yessenia is a housekeeper in a nursing home. Edgar is a wire harnesser, bundling the wiring inside generators for the military. The Becerras have five children and have taken in their five nieces and nephews temporarily.

During their visit this year, I asked the Becerras what it is that keeps them coming back at least eight years in a row from 60 miles away. Their answer is not unlike many who chose to stick with something they know and trust, even if it takes a little extra effort, or driving.

“The volunteers and staff are respectful and the service is great. There are no hassles, it’s straightforward. Every time we come, everyone is so helpful.”

Like many families, the Becerras’ tax refund makes a big difference. They devote their refunds to education costs, paying bills, and saving for the future.

I look forward to another phone call this coming tax season.