This could be amazing or it could go up in flames.
When I originally read an article in our community newspaper about a guy volunteering his time to start up Lifecorps Food Share, a “surplus food collection and delivery service” (they take extra food from supermarkets, grocers, farmers, etc. and deliver it to food banks, shelters, agencies, etc.), I was unemployed and thought it’d be something awesome for me to help out with in the meantime. He needed volunteers and I wanted something meaningful to fill my time with. I had originally wanted to be a driver, but I noticed they needed a bookkeeper/accountant as well and mentioned in passing that I’d be interested since I had recently graduated in economics/accounting.
Two months later (I had been out of the country and also found full-time employment), I’ve finally met this man at his warehouse and found out the operation is a lot newer and a lot less established than I thought it was. I believe the $223,200 grant over two years they received is the entirety of their budget - and it runs out by the end of 2014. As far as I can tell, the entire operation so far is him, one full-time driver and around 12 volunteer drivers that pick up and deliver food seven days a week. He says at one point, he worked at this 70 hours a week (12 hours Monday to Friday; another 10 hours on weekends).
… So long story short, I’m basically volunteering for a fledgling non-profit organization without an internal accounting department as their bookkeeper with no real practical experience as an accountant. I’ve been completely upfront and honest about my lack of practical experience and my status as a recent graduate and he’s apparently okay with both, even though I would effectively be setting the foundation for their… accounting practices? How could this possibly go wrong? How could this possibly go right?!
I love this guy’s vision though. Literally, Lifecorps Food Share’s stated vision is to “eradicate hunger in York Region”.
Or as he put it this afternoon:
Toronto has four organizations with a total budget of around $10 million per year to serve a total population of 2.2 million people. Nobody else in York Region is doing what we do and we have a $100,000 annual budget to serve 1.1 million people. I need a freezer as big as this warehouse and a warehouse ten times as big to do what I want to do. I can imagine it because I’ve seen it elsewhere.
I’m excited - but extremely, extremely nervous - about this chance to actually be part of something. Go big or go home, I guess.