Volunteers enrich any community. It’s been quite a while since we last wrote about volunteer opportunities at Mennonite Heritage Village (MHV). These opportunities change somewhat with the seasons. Summer provides many opportunities for people who enjoy cutting grass. We have three ride-on mowers and even now could use more operators who have experience with similar equipment.
There is work for aspiring arborists. We have young trees that need to be tended and encouraged. We have mature trees that need pruning, and we have old trees that need to have dead branches removed.
We are always looking for people with woodworking or carpentry skills. Picnic tables, benches and fences need repairs. The screen doors that slam shut after every time they are opened often need some skilled attention. Right now we have one that needs to be rebuilt. Looking ahead, we plan to rebuild our chicken cages and shelters in October. During the winter we would like to repair wagons and rebuild wooden wagon wheels in our heated shop. Many of these items need painting once they’ve been repaired. The list never ends.
MHV does not have an Information Technology (IT) department. We would be delighted to find a volunteer who could help us resolve day-to-day computer challenges. For those of us who don’t have high levels of expertise with computers, attempting to trouble-shoot those technology issues is an inefficient use of our time.
We are aware that a number of our supporting clubs are also looking for new volunteers. Specifically, the MHV Auxiliary would welcome people who love to prepare and serve food, who enjoy the various aspects of quilting, and/or who enjoy serving the public. The Auxiliary provides a significant fundraising function for MHV, and its members also serve as good ambassadors for our organization.
No doubt the local Steam Club would also be happy for some new volunteers. During Pioneer Days they were short-staffed and therefore unable to operate the steamer. These people also provide much of the expertise when it comes to setting up the threshing machine. Not very many people know how to do that anymore, so we need new volunteers to learn and become involved.
We always have a need for volunteers who know how to harness and drive teams of horses. During May and June we harness the team almost every day for the children who attend our Education Program. On festival days there is typically a high demand for horse-drawn wagon rides. It’s usually too much for one team to handle, so we need additional teams on those days. Normally the local Draft-Horse Club comes to help out, and no doubt they would be open to new members as well.
We also have a number of winter opportunities. Clearing snow from sidewalks and the parking lot often needs to be attended to fairly quickly after a snowfall or a storm. We have a variety of snow-clearing equipment and simply need the people to volunteer their time to give to these invigorating tasks. An indoor winter opportunity involves photography. We would like to photograph all of our 16,000 artifacts so that we could add digital images to our artifact database. Someone who enjoys photography and working with technology could be helpful to MHV in this area.
Fall on the Farm will take place on Labour Day. We will again need about 100 people to volunteer at various tasks like supervising parking, taking admission, cooking or serving in the short-order booth, volunteering as a blacksmith or printer, or serving as an interpreter in one of our heritage buildings.
Call us at 204-326-9661 if any of these opportunities catch your attention.
Calendar of Events
September 7 – Fall on the Farm (10:00-5:00)
September 9 – Heritage Classic Golf Tournament at Quarry Oaks
September 20 – Supper From the Field fundraiser