A Day in my Life as LEEP’s Programmer

Each month we do our best to provide a wide range of exciting programming opportunities for our LEEP members including: crafts/arts, music and karaoke, social hours, movies, games, cooking/baking, healthy living, community inclusion activities, and so much more! My job as a programmer is to come up with those new, fun, and adaptable activities that attract a wide range of interests. By having a variety of programs, we provide opportunities for our members to be engaged in something they are highly passionate about or provide them with the opportunity to try something they’ve never done. This is one of the most wonderful and fulfilling parts of my job. Seeing the smiles and happiness of our members after a successful program is absolutely incredible!

With that being said, there are a few challenges I come across in my daily programming. One of the major challenges is planning for and purchasing supplies on a budget. In prep for a program I create a budget making sure to provide the exact amount of supplies necessary to accommodate for each member who has signed up. Sounds simple, right?

While it does sound simple, planning an event for 20 people does have some obstacles. I take the number of possible participants and purchase supplies enough for 

each one of those individuals. When the day of the event comes, and only 7 people show up, I am left with not only a sinking heart, but also a ton of left over supplies and a gaping hole in my wallet.

That’s not so bad, just reuse the supplies for another activity.

I 100% agree (and we do that when we can), unfortunately due to the attempts to provide a range of opportunities, many times supplies are not reusable or have an expiration date. We love themed activities, and many of the months out of the year we like to design programming around that month’s theme.

Take October for example, everything is based around Halloween. When we purchase 15 pumpkins, and only 7 are used we have 8 pumpkins left over that we won’t be able to reuse for another activity and will ultimately go to waste. Not only is it incredibly important to us that our members to have a wonderful time and attend our activities, it’s vitally important that if a participant is unable to come – to let the LEEP staff know so that we can plan accordingly.

How often does it happen that people do not cancel and fail to show up?

More often than you think unfortunately. This is a perfect example of how many small incidences can lead into a huge problem. This strongly impacts our budget over the entire year. If we are providing over 30 activities each month, and each one of those activities a few members fail to show up or cancel, that starts to make quite the dent in our ability to provide quality programming with the amount of resources we have available to us. We want to continue to provide quality, unique, tailored, and exciting program opportunities each month for our LEEP members, and if we want that to be sustainable we need to be able to plan accordingly for our budget.

How can I help?

If you know you are unable to attend an event, call LEEP and let us know as soon as possible. When we work together we can continue to create new and exciting programming.