For Immediate Release                    Contact                                  Phone

January 10, 2011                                Leslie Schlesinger                  cell: 201 214 3630

                                                            Program Manager, UWPC     office: 973 279 8900



Paterson, NJ — The United Way of Passaic County recently received a $15,000 grant from Wachovia, A Wells Fargo Company to establish The Financial Empowerment Zone in the city of Paterson.  Beginning on February 14, 2011 the Financial Empowerment Zone will provide free tax preparation and electronic filing services to seniors and also to families with incomes up to $50,000 who are eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit. Along with the free tax preparation service, the Zone will provide financial literacy and wealth building strategies and will also be offering individual benefits screening for clients who use the service.

“The goal is to boost personal savings and create long term stability” said Yvonne Zuidema, president of United Way of Passaic. “Providing free tax prep for local residents is one of the best ways we can help individuals and families in Paterson keep more of their hard-earned money and stay on track for long-term financial stability.”

There are more than a dozen Wachovia branch locations within a three mile radius of the Financial Empowerment Zone, which will be housed at the Paterson Community Technology Center, located at 218 Memorial Drive adjacent to Passaic County Community College.  Appointments are being pre-booked through the  NJ 211 helpline.

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“Wachovia is committed to building strong and vibrant communities, improving the quality of life of residents, and making a positive difference where we live and work,” said Gregory Nascimento, a district manager and vice president for Wachovia, a Wells Fargo Company.

The Financial Empowerment Zone is sponsored by Wells Fargo along with other community partners including the IRS, AARP, Passaic Community College and NJ211.

Both the United Way of Passaic County and Wells Fargo encourage residents and community members to use the tax preparation, financial literacy and benefits screening services available at no charge so that tax refunds can be deposited into taxpayer bank accounts in a few days, and clients can be made aware of other free services and programs that they may be entitled to.

United Way of Passaic County’s mission is to improve the lives of people in Passaic County by mobilizing the caring power of our community.Our goal is to increase the number of families who are able to meet their basic needs and increase their financial stability.

Wells Fargo& Company(NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.2 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 9,000 stores, 12,000 ATMs, the Internet ( and, and other distribution channels across North America and internationally. With more than 278,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in America. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked #19 on Fortune’s 2009 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially.