WHY WE VOLUNTEER
“Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.”
This quote by Marjorie Moore couldn’t be more fitting on Primary Day in Queens. It touches on the importance of voting in a democracy, but emphasizes the impact of volunteering especially in your own neighborhood.
Since Queenscapes has started programming community events, officially in 2015, most of the stuff we do is pure volunteer work. Our programs are all community based with the objective of engaging and empowering our Queens-wide global neighbors.
Lately though we have felt it was time to give back a little more to the organizations that have supported us and helped us stay active in the Queens community.
While we have been blessed to be able to reach out and engage with so many of you in Queens, we haven’t done it without the support of many nonprofit Queens organizations.
Being recognized early on by non-profit orgs like the Queens Historical Society (QHS) has been essential to our growth.
The platform offered to us by QHS was particularly special, because it was our first invite to engage the Queens community for a lecture for the project we organized back in 2016, “Queens (as the world’s) Village: Know Your Neighbor.”
So when QHS put the word out that they needed volunteers to work as museum docents, we got excited and jumped on the opportunity to give back in a capacity that made sense to us.
What is a “docent?” A docent is a person who acts as a guide, typically on a voluntary basis, in a museum, art gallery, or zoo.
Docents are one of the most needed volunteer positions at institutions like the Queens Historical Society, the largest and most active historical society in the borough and the only one with a borough-wide scope and impact. Without docents and the various volunteers that help run this institution, there would be no QHS.
It is because of volunteers that the doors stay open in pretty much all of the most important cultural institutions in Queens. Volunteer work is needed, it is important.
And guess what folks, QHS still needs more docents.
If you are interested in joining us on the QHS staff, please check out the info posted below in bold. If you don’t have the spare time to make the commitment, then just come out to say hello to us. We’ll be on duty on select Saturdays throughout the summer. Hope to see you all there soon!
Queens Historical Society is seeking docents on a volunteer basis in assisting with various roles of the organization. The role of a docent at QHS is to act as a tour guide of the Kingsland Homestead, headquarters of the Queens Historical Society, by educating our visitors on the history of the house and the family who lived in it.
In addition, docents must also provide information about any current events and exhibits. The candidate must have availability to volunteer twice a month on Saturdays and/or Sundays, occasional Tuesdays from 2:30 to 4:30 pm. Duties will consist of greeting guests, taking admission fees, and tours. It’s important to arrive at least ten minutes before the museum is scheduled to open.
1. Greet visitors when they enter Kingsland Homestead and encourage them to sign in our visitor log.
2. Collect admission fee, and become familiar with cash/credit transactions.
3. Provide visitors with information on how they can sign up for a membership with QHS, as well as the benefits of becoming a member.
4. Offer a guided or self-guided tour of the house, always accompanying visitors to the second floor.
5. Encourage visitors to shop at our gift shop, which offers a wide variety of educational materials about the history of Queens.
6. Complete a Docent Form at the end of volunteer shift that will be kept in the visitor log book.
7. Must follow all rules and procedures.
**Training will be provided**
How To Apply:
If you are interested in volunteering as a docent, please email us your resume at firstname.lastname@example.org
Words by Adolfo Steve Vazquez & Queens Historical Society photo by Adolfo Steve Vazquez