Delaware’s cultural destinations offer fantastic opportunities to volunteer at your favorite museums, theaters, parks and more.
If you’re like most seniors, you have favorite cultural destinations in Delaware and nearby Pennsylvania that you visit time and again—museums, gardens, galleries, parks. But probably unbeknownst to you, many of these destinations would love for you to become an insider by volunteering.
“Volunteers are an integral part of our Longwood family,” says Jourdan Cole, public relations manager at Longwood Gardens. “We frequently say that our employees and volunteers are the soul of the gardens.”
Part of Winterthur’s mission statement includes the importance of community involvement, points out Janice Crawford, volunteer coordinator at Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library. “Active volunteers recruited from the community are essential in helping fulfill this mission. In addition, [the institution] values volunteers as ambassadors to the community.”
Even though volunteers are, by definition, unpaid, there is much to be gained in becoming one: a chance to continue to use your skills, perform a valuable community service, see how the institution works from the inside, gain a new group of friends and acquaintances, and often be eligible for free classes and limited passes to visit and attend events.
The workload isn’t crushing, either. Winterthur requires only a minimum of 25 hours per year, while Longwood asks for 50. As a result, Winterthur has more than 250 active volunteers who work both inside the museum and library, around its gardens and at special events. Longwood offers similar opportunities.
Here are what other venues are looking for:
- Delaware Theatre Company A great opportunity for those who like to work with marketing, costumes, scenery and props, ushering and even stuffing envelopes. delawaretheatre.org
- Hagley Museum & Library Hagley needs more than its current 500 volunteers to nurture its gardens, interact with visitors, work behind the scenes and support special events. hagley.org
- Biggs Museum of American Art The Dover museum is looking for volunteers to train docents and host special events, especially those willing to be on call. Carpentry, electrical and creative skills are also desired. biggsmuseum.org
- Brandywine River Museum The museum offers an extensive guide-training program conducted by its education and curatorial staff one morning a week for 10 consecutive weeks, as well as less-intensive training for other volunteers. brandywine.org
- Delaware Nature Society There is a vast need at both the center’s upstate and downstate sites for everything from garden carpenter to nest watcher to habitat steward to event photographer. delawarenaturesociety.org
- Delaware Museum of Nature & Science The recently renovated and rebranded museum categorizes its volunteer needs around public engagement for special programs and public events, as well as research to work with its collections. delmns.org
- Delaware State Parks offers a variety of outdoor opportunities for those who like wildlife, especially with its special projects with horseshoe crabs, bats, ospreys, piping plovers and kestrels. destateparks.com
Related: Volunteers Over the Age of 55 Provide Crucial Help to Delaware Nonprofits