Boyle McCauley News

Since 1979 • April-May 2024 • Circulation 5000


Lessons From Volunteering

In 2006 I had a few things happen which made me wonder about the direction in which the community of McCauley had been going, and as it turned out there were numerous other residents who felt the same way.

Thus began an unexpectedly rich and rewarding time that I had never really had any experience with before. Volunteering for the community league was something that I entered into gently. My main goal at the time was to support the people who were questioning and at times fighting applications for developments that I and others felt would be further injurious to the community. In other words, they would not help create a neighbourhood that was safe and welcoming for people raising children and had nothing to do with the nurturing of young children (in my opinion the low number of children in McCauley should have been a red flag for city officials long ago). These developments were sometimes fought legally and through many trips to the SDAB – the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board.

My point in all of this was that these people gave hundreds of hours of their time for free. They did not receive one penny in financial recompense. So great was their passion and the belief in what they were doing, they did it without complaint and with a smile on their faces. This eventually had the predictable effect of burning out our passionate volunteers and at different times they bowed out into lesser roles with the league satisfied with the knowledge that they had followed their hearts and made the community a better place.

I continued to increase my involvement with the league through my support and time. I learned through experience that there are important guidelines that should be followed in terms of volunteers and the use of league money:

First, the league forwards no money to any volunteers and will instead reimburse volunteers upon the presentation of applicable receipts. There have been problems with the league in the past giving large sums of cash to trusted individuals and not receiving receipts to justify the expenses.

Second, the league has had issues with volunteers becoming contractors. Things became difficult when a contract was signed and the stipulations of the contract were not carried out, but payment was still given. In the winter of 2013-2014 the league carefully selected and hired an outside contractor for the rink in order to avoid conflict of interest. This was successful, and the league should continue to have a purely business relationship with contractors so that the necessary steps can be taken to ensure quality service is provided to the league and it’s members. After all, it’s not just free money from heaven, but rather casino funds acquired to benefit the community as a whole!

So, in closing, regardless of who is on the board after the March 23 AGM I think that these lessons in volunteer management and fiscal responsibility will benefit any league of the future.

Subscribe to our newsletter

News from the neighbourhood delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up and stay in touch!