Christmas has already come and gone, but the spirit of giving can last all year through, and the Museum of Aviation in Warner Robins is providing just the opportunity for people to give of their time.
With the museum being open seven days a week, it generally averages about 120 volunteers throughout the year, but currently there is a need for volunteers, especially on a few certain shifts. The biggest need, according to Dan Hart, volunteer coordinator for the museum, is for both the morning and afternoon shifts on Sunday, morning shifts on Monday and afternoon shifts on Wednesday.
“Those four shifts are where I would want to plug somebody in immediately who wants to volunteer,” Hart said. “We look for people who are wanting to make a long term commitment to be with us a while … work one shift a week.”
Hart said the biggest group of volunteers are the ones that work at the volunteer desk in each of the four museum buildings. The next largest group are restoration volunteers who work on restoring aircraft and volunteers who work with the curator and archives.
“The primary duties of a (help desk) volunteer are to greet everyone with a smile, assist visitors with questions and to also keep a watchful eye on the exhibits,” said Hart, adding that the duties entail a mixture of both sitting and walking, and the volunteers are encouraged to walk through the buildings when the visitors are present. “There is no military or aviation experience required. On the job training is provided.”
The morning shifts, Hart said, begin at 9 a.m. and end at 1 p.m., and the afternoon shifts begin at 1 p.m. and end at 5 p.m. for the volunteers who work at the volunteer desks. Restoration volunteer hours, however, are worked out between the volunteer and supervisor of the restoration crew.
“There’s no particular day of being busier than the other,” Hart said. “It changes constantly, depending on what is going on with people traveling through, so there’s no way to put a number on what we need. We’re open seven days a week.”
Steve David, of Warner Robins, was stationed at Robins Air Force Base for 16 of his 20 years in the Air Force. Now retired, he is volunteering at the museum. He volunteers on Tuesday mornings at the desk in the Eagle Building and on Thursdays at the desk in the Century of Flight hangar. He also volunteers some in restoration as well.
David said he volunteered some in the late 1990s at the museum and decided to return to volunteering this past September. He said he loves working at the museum and loves the aircraft. He particularly enjoys meeting the different people who come through visiting the museum.
“The best part is hearing other people’s stories of what they did in the Air Force or the military,” he said.
A mechanic for most of his life, David said he also enjoys the opportunity to turn wrenches while working in the restoration area.
“It’s a natural thing for me,” he said, adding that they are always looking for volunteers at the museum.
For more information about volunteering at the museum, call Dan Hart at 478-926-4242 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.