Volunteers Needed

   Are you looking for opportunities to volunteer in the community? Mennonite Heritage Village (MHV) has many options for you to consider, requiring a variety of different skills and time commitments. Our museum would not be able to function were it not for the involvement of many volunteers.

   We have a number of projects that could be adopted by a person or a group and worked at over a period of time. One such project would be repairing and painting the wooden fences in the Village. These fences have aged, and in some cases poles need to be pushed back into the ground, boards need to be replaced, and entire fences need to be repainted. This is clearly a summer job and would make an ideal family or small-group project.

   Cutting grass is almost a daily task at MHV at the height of the season. Two riding mowers make the task quite comfortable and efficient. The need is greatest in spring and early summer when the grass grows so rapidly. It’s a great way to enjoy nature and do meaningful work at the same time.

   In the months of May and June our Education Program will require up to a dozen volunteers daily to serve as interpreters in various of our heritage buildings. The shifts are typically about three hours long and take place between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM. These roles are suitable for people who enjoy interacting with school-aged children.

   MHV owns a number of very old trucks and tractors. Unfortunately many of these vintage units have not had the attention they need in the recent past and are not operational. We would like to be able to start them, drive them around the Village from time to time, and maybe even drive some of them in the Pioneer Days parade. They need someone with mechanical skills and available time to cajole them into operation again. We have a heated shop for this kind of work.

   We have an electronic database in which we keep records of MHV members, donors and volunteers. Maintaining this database is an ongoing role that involves editing contact information to note address changes, recording donations, receipting donations at the end of the year, sending membership renewal notices, and running reports for staff as needed. This role would involve the equivalent of two or three days per month.

   The MHV Auxiliary is a strong and valuable partner to MHV, carrying out a variety of activities to raise funds for the museum. These activities include catering, quilting, volunteering as interpreters, guiding tours, and serving special food items at MHV festivals, such as waffles with vanilla sauce, rollkuchen with watermelon, and apple fritters. The Auxiliary is always looking for new members to join their ranks.

   There are a number of benefits to volunteering at MHV, not the least of which is the opportunity to spend time in a warm and friendly workplace, doing work that has value both to MHV and to our community. During the months when the Livery Barn Restaurant is operational, volunteers can purchase meals for half price on days when they are volunteering. Last but not least, registered volunteers receive a season pass to enter the museum as often as they wish without paying admission.

   The opportunities at MHV to make a difference as a volunteer go well beyond these few examples. Anyone wanting to enrich their lives with this type of service should contact Anne Toews at [email protected] or 204-326-9661.

About the Author

Gary is responsible for the overall management of MHV. Guiding the staff, informing the board, and networking with officials, volunteers, corporate sponsors, individual donors and other guests. He has a business diploma and a MA in Global Studies from Providence Theological Seminary. With his family he did humanitarian work for 18 years in Asia, including being a CEO of a Compost Enterprise in China. He loves to discuss the Mennonite story and how it is relevant in our world. Learn more about the MHV.

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