When I first considered doing an internship, I knew that I wanted to intern somewhere that would teach/instill something new inside of me, while at the same time, working with an organization that would utilize all of my talents for their best interest. Sara is open about how business works, how to go out and raise awareness as well as money, and, most importantly, how to bring people, the planet, and profits all in line together. Because Sara offers all of this without even trying, I knew that the knowledge and the skills that I’ve gained from my marketing and psychology classes would help spread the Unity Garden message to other members in the community who would listen to me. For the past week, I’ve had my hands in many of the activities that keep Unity Gardens up and running. I like to consider myself a people person; however, I don’t like to ask, pressure, and/or beg for money, but to my surprise, this week was a little different. On my very first day of interning, Sara asked me what was one job/activity that I was uncomfortable doing because in this “give-in-take” relationship; she would take what I had to offer and give me experience where I needed it most. Due to the fact that Unity Gardens is a non-profit, they get donations from the government, a.k.a. NAP Credits, but they have duties that they must fulfill in order to continue receiving these funds. Initially, I knew nothing about NAP Credits so this is how Sara explained them to me:
- First apply for the credit (Sara applied for $60,000 in 2011)
- If approved, the government gives you half (Sara receive $30,000 which goes toward business expenses)
- From August to June 1st, you must raise the rest of the money (fundraising).
- If you don’t raise your funds in time you have to sit out for TWO YEARS!!!
- The best thing about the program is that those who donate money to Unity Gardens get HALF of the amount back when they file their taxes. NOT a tax deduction but it actually goes with your refund or it can be applied to your tax bill if you owe the government.
When it comes to sustainability, condition 1 states that, as a society, we must reduce and eventually eliminate our contribution to the systematic accumulation of materials from the earth’s crust. I believe that I am contributing to this condition for these two reasons:
- When it came to fundraising, I made the majority of my first contacts via the telephone because I didn’t want to waste excess gas while polluting the environment even further just riding around to hear No’s or Yes’s. When it did come to driving, I drove to the McKinley Town and Country Shopping Center in Mishawaka, parked my car, and walked business to business because my energy cost are renewable and sustainable; unlike the petroleum that my car uses.
- For those who don’t know, I live in Elkhart and I intern in South Bend Monday thru Thursday. I’m not a fan of “actual” summer school classes, but I felt that if I had to drive out there everyday, I should maximize my time effort and energy. As a result, I became a true summer school student. I intern from 9:30am to 12:30pm, I go to my Fine Arts class from 1pm to 2:30pm, and from 6pm to 10pm I work with a cleaning company in Elkhart, IN. Fun, Fun, Fun === Work, Work, Work === Tired, Tired, Tired === Rest, Rest, Rest! A BEAUTIFUL FUFILLED LIFE. Carpe Diem.
WE GROW MORE THAN VEGETABLES HERE!!!!