Meet our volunteer accountant Holly Johnson! Holly uses her accounting skills to fulfill an important role in our organization and is a huge asset to us. Read on to learn how she got involved and how she keeps us on track financially.
Did you know we can use all kinds of skills in our volunteers? If you’re interested in sharing yours with us, contact us today!
What is your hometown?
What is your volunteer position?
How long have you been volunteering at the Food Bank?
How did you end up in your current role?
Our church, Faith Lutheran in Wedgwood, has supported UDFB since the beginning, so I’ve always been aware of the organization. In 2008 I had a big birthday party and asked for donations to the food bank instead of gifts. People donated $4,000 and an SUV full of food! When we dropped it off, I asked about volunteering with our sons. We went together that summer. When they went back to school in the fall, I kept going to the Food Bank. I worked in the back room for the first 5 years. In 2013 I watched Joe working on a deposit one day and asked about their accounting function. It turned out that Joe was the both the Executive Director and the accountant! I offered to switch my role to accounting, which was a better use of my skills.
What are your main responsibilities?
I handle everything accounting and finance related. I devote one day a week to making and recording deposits, managing cash balances, managing staff credit cards, paying vendors, tracking contracts, paying the staff, working with investment advisors, preparing monthly financial statements for the finance committee and board of directors, and attending finance committee meetings. I am currently managing the annual financial audit in which an outside accounting firm audits the books, which is required by the City of Seattle contracts. My goal is to handle all the financial administration so the staff can concentrate on serving the clients.
What is or was your profession?
I am a retired CPA. I was fortunate to be able to leave the workforce after our sons were born, and gradually started volunteering, often in board treasurer roles at nonprofits.
What drives you to volunteer at the Food Bank?
People gotta eat. It’s as simple as that. I believe that access to healthy food is a right of all people no matter their circumstances. Many years ago, I was tidying the shopping area at the old food bank in the basement of the University Christian Church and came across this To Do List, left by a very organized client:
It struck me that most of us don’t have to add 3. Eat to our daily lists. We take it for granted because we have money to purchase food, and a home with a kitchen to store and prepare food. But many of our neighbors do not have these basic necessities. Although my role is indirect, it frees up staff time and financial resources for serving our neighbors.
Why should others volunteer?
Volunteering at the Food Bank is a great opportunity to meet people from lots of different backgrounds who also care about our neighbors. It’s also an opportunity to meet and help neighbors who suffer from food insecurity. It’s an opportunity to feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of a shift for the hard work put in. Volunteering is like a high-five to humanity.