Valuing Volunteers

Just a couple of quick notes: The Friends of Joseph Priestley House were recently honored with the Dan Baylor Award for Entrepreneurial Spirit by the Susquehanna River Valley Visitor Bureau. Anthracite Heritage Museum is looking for wedding photos from folks who got married in Pennsylvania's anthracite region; visit them on Facebook for more info.

The following is part one in a three-part tribute to PHMC’s Volunteer of the Year honorees.

Independent Sector, which monitors issues of interest to non-profit organizations, has released its latest figures for the monetary value of volunteer time. Based on the (national) average hourly wage for non-management, non-agricultural workers (plus 12% for benefits), the value of one hour of volunteer time in 2009 was $20.85, up from $20.25 in 2008. At PHMC sites and museums, the value of volunteer time in 2009 was immeasurable, as we looked for more and more help from our support groups and advocates.

On May 8, at the State Museum of Pennsylvania, we had the chance to say thank you to a wonderful bunch of volunteers who had been selected for special recognition for their (priceless) work in 2009 and beyond. Over the next month or so, Trailheads will introduce you to these folks and share a bit about their efforts on behalf of the Trails of History and the people who travel them. It is impossible to do justice to the accomplishments and contributions of our honorees in a short space, but we’ll try to give you a glimpse of their work and to express our sincere gratitude for all they do.

Jack Frazier, a retired teacher with 38 years of experience, helps students visiting the Anthracite Heritage Museum learn about coal miners and their families, making the experience both fun and educational.

At Brandywine Battlefield, Rex Hughes has worked to bring about changes in the museum store and website and has used social media to draw increased attention and focus to the site and its activities.

With more than 25 new and veteran volunteers stepping up to help keep Bushy Run Battlefield open to the public despite severe state budget cuts, the Battlefield named its entire volunteer corps as Volunteer of the Year.

Nancy Ladd has worked to strengthen Cornwall Iron Furnace’s public relations efforts and ensure that the site maintains a vibrant image. This past year Nancy composed the solicitation letter for the site’s first (and highly successful) annual appeal campaign.

Most Sunday afternoons, you can find Robert “Rusty” Coller in the Blacksmith Shop at Daniel Boone Homestead, where he enjoys talking to visitors as much as hammering on the anvil. Rusty has also produced ironwork for the site’s use and for sale in the museum shop.

Retired educator Carole Hall began her service at Drake Well Museum as a part-time museum educator. Since passing the baton in 2002, she has continued to volunteer her time, serving as an advisor (along with her husband Clark) to the Friends board of directors and the MEET-U mobile education unit.

Christopher Deemer came to Eckley Miners’ Village as part of his work on pre-regulatory mining environmental issues and has become an active volunteer, helping with the Village newsletter, photographing the Village, and even picking the coal that’s on sale in the museum shop.

Active in many capacities at Ephrata Cloister, including the Community Days education program, Warren Eberly has led two important efforts in recent years. He coordinated the annual Apple Dumpling Days (a major fundraising event) for six years and has also served as the site’s wedding coordinator, working with brides, grooms, and parents to plan their special occasions.

Stay tuned for future posts to meet the rest of our Volunteers of the Year.


Anonymous said...

it's wonderful to see all these great volunteers be honored!

and, thanks for posting about the anthracite's request for wedding pictures! but we are looking for wedding pictures from anywhere in the world, not just the coal region! :)

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