The Start of it All
When I was a small boy, growing up in Nigeria in some privilege – I was a doctor’s son, I was often saddened by the injustice, conflict, poverty and need I saw in the world. Although I wanted to do something to help, I felt my own options to help were too limited. I used to tell my friends “I need to find a way to share resources with those who can actually support others.”
Volunteer Work in Canada
Years later, I arrived in Canada as a young graduate student with an interest in computers, IT and business management, but also involved in student organizing, community and social justice. Through a friend, I got involved with the Rotary Club, where I was the head of the service committee, still a member at the Toronto Rotary skyline club. I learned about the country by volunteering at different organizations, and as I built harm reduction kits for Casey House, cooked food for the Fort York Food Bank or sang Christmas Carols at the Bickle Centre, I noticed how Canadian non-profits and charities had to struggle to get sufficient funds.
The Goods That Started it All
One day, while going through a life transformation, I decided, as we often do, to clean up my apartment and declutter my closet. I pulled out a pair of beautiful English leather shoes that I’d never worn because they were too small. As I stood in front of the closet, I asked myself: How can I transform these goods into goodness?
A Better Way?
I thought of the current option available to me: I could walk or drive to Value Village or the Salvation Army and drop off my goods, which would have to be sorted, kept in-store, or more often, sold to a middle-man who would ship the goods to Africa or Asia where they would be dumped in landfills, or sold cheaply in market places where they would displace locally produced clothing, shoes, and textiles. As a diasporic African, I was familiar with such problematic processes. There had to be a better way.
Huge Lightbulb Moment
How could I use my knowledge of IT and business to create a better option? I spent days thinking about this and soon the answer arrived. I would build an online marketplace to bring buyers and sellers together to support non-profits and charities working for the greater good. This is how Goodszilla was born!