To the Editor:
The first time I went to an event at the Sparta Historical Society, I was immediately charmed by the impromptu discussion that started with one member voicing a memory – others chimed in to embellish and add their recollections of Sparta and its residents (from at least 50 years earlier) as if it happened yesterday.
That was around 2004, and I was hooked. Shortly after, although working full time with a long commute and raising 2 boys, I offered to write the newspaper articles that invite residents to the programs and events we host to celebrate Sparta’s history.
The non-profit, all-volunteer Historical Society and Van Kirk Museum benefit from my time, but I think I benefit more.
How so? 1) I get to spend time with friendly, lively, fascinating people. 2) I’m from the Midwest, where history isn’t as old as it is here, so it really opened my eyes to the Skylands. 3) It makes me feel good.
I am in awe of the handful of volunteers, all 60 to 90+ years old, who do almost all of the work at the Society energetically, cheerfully, and professionally. And I’m writing to tell you that as the Museum has grown in size and reputation, we need many more volunteers to help with small tasks.
You don’t have to be interested in history (or be historic!) to give time and gain benefit. Three school kids, starting when the youngest was 8, have been running parts of our Annual Classic Car Show for the past 5 years and they have grown in maturity through their responsible involvement.
We need courteous, reliable “doers” for handling social media, event planning, painting and construction, grounds maintenance, IT support, scanning old photos and documents, archiving, tour guides (we’ll train), security, membership communications, set up and pack up for events, gardening, decorating, or something of personal interest. See details at VanKirkMuseum.org/Volunteer.htm
We definitely don’t discriminate on the basis of age!