Supporter Story: Network Computing Group (NCG)

Mark Bowles, CEO and founder of Network Computing Group (NCG), knows the value of bringing hope to those in need. “Hope is one of the most crucial things. Making people feel hopeful is the first step in meeting their needs.” After talking to Mark and his team, you can tell how much they want to do right by the people they serve.

A History of Service

Mark has always believed that giving back is key. Before starting his own company, he was teaching a class at Virginia Western Community College and donating his time and skills to local nonprofits like the Science Museum of Western Virginia. After opening NCG, Mark continued to give back to the community by offering a discount to local nonprofits.

It’s clear that Mark has fostered a team at NCG that values giving. Dale Wolfenbarger, Chief Technology Officer at NCG, also gives his time and IT skills at his local church, as well as at the International Christian Centers for the Deaf. “NCG is a member of the community and any time we can give back to it, that is helping us thrive and grow; it’s best for all of us. If it isn’t growing around us, neither can we.”

A Stable Connection

NCG and TAP have been working together for nearly a decade. For the past three years, NCG has also been an Empower Sponsor of our annual Bringing Hope Home campaign. “I spent a lot of my time thinking about and running NCG, but now that I’m getting older, my thoughts are moving to charity and getting more involved in how the money is used and what the purposes are,” Mark told us. “It’s easy for me to give to TAP knowing that they know the needs of the area and that they know best how to use the money wisely.”

Thanks to NCG’s support, we have been able to grow our programs to serve even more people. “Every time I turned around, there was another program TAP was doing, another service TAP offered,” says Mason Walker, Chief of Information Security at NCG. “You wouldn’t be able to tell the story of community service without TAP. They are that story…If there were no TAP, there would be a net negative in the community.”

A Legacy to Build On

We wouldn’t be able to do our work nearly as well if it weren’t for supporters like our friends at NCG. “TAP is tried and true and, to have been there as long as they have, that’s something that brings hope to the community. It’s a solid platform to give hope to the people around here,” says Dale.

If you’d like to support TAP by giving, please click here. TAP also has volunteer opportunities available in our service areas.

Supporter Story: Roanoke Valley Orthodontics

Dr. David Jones stepped up to run Roanoke Valley Orthodontics (RVO) in 2014. Since then, he and his wife, Justine, have also made it a point to step up their support of many causes in the Roanoke Valley. Over the past six years, RVO has given more than $10,000 to TAP!

Selfless to the Root

Dr. Jones has been working to improve the lives of those in need since he was in school. While attending Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry, he served in the Virginia Dental Missions of Mercy project, which provides free dental care to low-income people in the state.

After his dental training was complete, Dr. Jones and Justine moved to Roanoke and began to support the people around their new home. “We have always made it a priority to ‘give where we live’ and support the community that does so much for us,” he says. “We especially seek out organizations that focus on improving the lives of young people and families.”

Why Choose TAP?

“After learning more about TAP’s programming, we were called to support [its work],” explains Dr. Jones. “TAP makes a huge impact on the at-risk youth in our town, promoting and providing their further education. They also help our underserved adult population overcome financial and lifestyle obstacles to achieve personal success.”

While the Joneses support all of our programs, they took a special interest in TAP Head Start. “We have a family member who believes strongly in the Head Start program and [we] felt it was crucial to support it here in our community.” Since Head Start is one of our farthest-reaching programs, it also demands the most of our resources. We are thankful for Roanoke Valley Orthodontics‘ crucial support of Head Start and those the program serves. Through gifts like this, we prepared almost 1,300 kids for school just last year!

Embracing Roanoke

Roanoke Valley Orthodontics believes in improving the lives of the people they serve. “Our practice is centered on our tagline of ‘Embrace Roanoke,’ a play on words that speaks to our desire to truly support the community we live in. TAP also embraces our community through its programming and focus on literacy and education,” says Dr. Jones.

“TAP is an amazing resource for our at-risk community [members] to help them break socioeconomic barriers and develop them into contributory members of our community.”

Click to find out how to get involved in TAP’s mission.

A young mother poses with her toddler

Taxing Times: Keisha and the Tax Clinic

Going into the last tax season, Keisha, a hardworking single mom to three kids, almost didn’t file her taxes. She missed filing one year and for the next few years felt a sense of dread about filing. When she would think about her taxes, a nagging voice kept suggesting, What’s the point anyway? Why file when the government will just take even more of your hard-earned money? But deep down, she knew it was a problem she needed to confront, so she went looking for an expert to help. Tax Clinic to the rescue!

The Search for Help

After the shock of learning the cost to have her taxes filed at the big companies, things were off to a rough start. Keisha knew she couldn’t quit though; she needed to do this for her family. One of her kids was preparing for college, and Keisha knew her child would need to provide tax information.

Keisha had heard of our Tax Clinic but had never considered it an option for her. “I looked at a few different services, but they cost way too much,” she recounts. “So I called Teffany and asked what to do.” Teffany Henderson runs the TAP Tax Clinic. She works with our volunteer tax preparers to make sure clients receive the best services possible. She also works with the IRS to ensure the Tax Clinic meets all the latest guidelines and rules. If anyone would know where to start, she would.

Lending a Hand

Keisha was unsure about discussing her financial records with strangers, but Teffany helped put her mind at ease. “Teffany was super warm and gave me some great advice,” Keisha remembers. After reviewing her finances, Teffany knew Keisha was eligible for our services and helped her set up an appointment.

Keisha describes feeling a sense of relief at the combination of good, professional advice and the warmth of those she spoke with. “On the phone, I talked with another woman whose voice was just so kind that I was immediately comfortable giving them [my tax information] and dropping off my paperwork,” she says. And when Keisha explained that she felt she’d gotten into a mess with her taxes, the volunteer said, “Bring everything in, and we’ll take a look—and if we can’t help you, we won’t leave you high and dry. We’ll make sure to find someone who can.”

Back On Track

After filing her taxes for the year, volunteers helped Keisha file her back taxes too. As it turns out, Keisha didn’t owe money; the government owed her! Surprised, Keisha got a return on her back taxes. “I came out on top after [the Tax Clinic] did everything. I was able to get back on track.”

This tax season, anyone doing a simple return whose total filing income is $60,000 or less, or those who qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit, can file for free through our Tax Clinic. (We can’t file for those with 1099s or freelance returns, or digital assets, like Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, or electronic payments, like Cash App or Venmo, in excess of $600.) And, as we promised Keisha, if we can’t help, we’ll find someone who can.

Find Out More About the Tax Clinic

To make an appointment to get your taxes done or to see if you’re eligible, contact the Tax Clinic hotline at (540) 283-4804 or email us at For more information, check out our Free Tax Clinic page.