Celebrating National Volunteer Week

by Karen on April 25, 2012

in Volunteering

This past week was National Volunteer Week. Started by the Points of Light Institute in 1974, National Volunteer Week “is about inspiring, recognizing and encouraging people to seek out imaginative ways to engage in their communities.”

According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, in 2010, 62.8 million adults volunteered almost 8.1 billion hours in local and national organizations. This service resulted in a value of almost $173 billion. A recent survey conducted by the American Association of Museums found that Americans contribute one million hours a week inU.S. museums.

Love spending time at museums? Ever wonder what it would be like to work in a museum? Want to know what happens behind the scenes? Then consider volunteering at your favorite local museum!

Take a look through our many member institutions under the Museum Partner tab on ShopforMuseums.com. When you click on each museum’s name, you can find out more about that organization and use the links to connect directly to their website. Most museums list volunteer opportunities on their websites. Or call the museum directly to learn more.

Volunteer opportunities are diverse and vary from museum to museum. Some of the most popular volunteer opportunities include gardening, building maintenance, changing out exhibits, greeting visitors, becoming a tour guide or docent, serving on a board or advisory committee, coordinating special events, helping with gift shop operations, helping catalog items in the museum’s collection, developing educational programs and assisting with office support.

There are also often great opportunities for high school students and college students to intern or be involved in mentoring programs.  

So thank you to all of you who dedicate time to volunteering in U.S.museums. And if you haven’t yet, we encourage you to get involved in your local museum. You will meet wonderful people, learn new things and have a lot of fun!

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