I just checked on a popular search engine for the phrase “volunteering for historical societies” and I got almost three million listed results. The first few pages show that the need for volunteers extends way beyond just our borders, to such countries as Canada, Great Britain, and Australia. The evidence suggests that the funding gap faced by historical societies is almost universal.
I checked George Washington’s Mount Vernon website, and they indeed survive with the help of a great many volunteers. Old Sturbridge Village, in Massachusetts, operates with the help of volunteers as does Old Bethpage Village Restoration, on Long Island. I didn’t see where Colonial Williamsburg calls out for volunteers, but I’d be surprised if they don’t rely on helpers in some way.
If these four examples of popular, nationally known restoration sites need the help of volunteers, don’t you think that your local historical society, with budgets much smaller, are in desperate need of your help as well? No, you don’t need to pledge every free moment in service. In the eyes of most local historical societies, any amount of time you give is greatly appreciated.
Marlene and I will be manning the OCHS table for a period of time during the next Ozaukee County Fair. If you’re curious to know how you can help, stop by and let’s chat.