Volunteers are often key in helping to make many nonprofit groups and charity organizations successful in their various causes.
Nobody knows this better than the , which uses volunteers in a number of different functions. That's why it decided to hold a Volunteer Fair.
“It’s a good win, win situation for everyone,” said Mary Ellen King, the museum volunteer organizing the event. “People who want to volunteer, agencies who are looking for volunteers and also the museum because it will introduce the museum to a lot more people who may have never been inside of it.”
The volunteer fair will take place on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
The fair will feature 30 nonprofit organizations, including the Plymouth Historical Museum, on hand to discuss the many different volunteer opportunities within the organization.
According to King, there is actually a waiting list simply because the basement area of the museum will not fit any more participants.
“They’re not all Plymouth, but the majority of them, about 80 percent, have Plymouth connections,” King said of the 31 nonprofits participating in the fair. “I just brainstormed about all the different places around town. I sent them a letter then followed up with a phone call.”
Each of the organizations will have their own eight foot table. They will have brochures with them to hand out to interested people and be on hand to answer any questions about volunteering with their nonprofit organization.
The Plymouth Historical Museum will be looking for people to be door greeters/docents and for people to participate in the exhibit crew, archives, maintenance, crafts and more.
“We especially have a hard time finding people February through March, July and August obviously because of vacations,” Dianne Griswold, Plymouth Historical Museum Volunteer Coordinator, said. “We need general people that I can call at the last minute because things happen at the last minute often. We are also looking for ex-teachers that would help the education department with tours. And none of these are huge commitments. They can work however they want.”
currently has about 105 volunteers, not including teenagers, according to Susan Stoney, the library’s public relations and marketing coordinator. Stoney’s goal at the Volunteer Fair is to find individuals to help with one special project.
“We have copies of the Plymouth Mail, which was the local newspaper in the early 1900s,” Stoney said. “We have those on microfiche and we are indexing those to just maintain a database of individuals who lived in Plymouth at that time. So we have a handful of volunteers right now who go through the microfiche, look at the different columns, local news. And the news is things like Mrs. Edgar Smith visited her sister in Northville, which doesn’t sound like earth shattering news. But if somebody’s a family member of Mrs. Edgar Smith and they want to know if she lived in Plymouth at this time, this verifies yes, she did. I thought, well, this is at the Historical Museum, maybe people are thinking about the value of the local history.”
Western and Downriver Wayne County Project on Domestic and Sexual Violence will also be present at the Volunteer Fair. First Step is an organization that works to reduce domestic and sexual violence and promotes services for those who have been affected by those crimes.
“Our biggest push right now, we’re getting ready to open a new residential facility. We are in definite need of nurturers, people to come and spend time with the children while the moms are in groups or individual sessions. That’s a huge, huge need.”
The new facility will be located in Wayne.
First Step is always looking for volunteers to be in their Assault Response program and their Victim Advocate in the Legal System program. People interested in volunteering with First Step can find out more information at their table at the Plymouth Historical Museum on Saturday.
Organizations represented at the Fair will be:
American Red Cross
Canton Communicators Toastmasters Club
Community Opportunity Center
Friends of the Penn Theatre
Meals on Wheels of Wayne County
Mill Race Village, Northville
Northville Chamber of Commerce
Northville Downtown Development Authority
Northville Parks and Recreation
Oakwood Annapolis Hospital
Odyssey Hospice Training Office
Plymouth Community United Way
Plymouth District Library
Plymouth Historical Museum
Rotary Club of Plymouth
St. Mary Mercy Hospital
Salvation Army of Plymouth Corps
Traveler’s Aid Society
Women’s National Farm and Garden