It started small, with one person. Adam P. came to volunteer for the Molly Brown House Museum in the summer of 2018 as a Page. Pages assist our docents on tours during their summer break. Adam helped by shepherding guests through the House, answering questions, checking tickets, and helping those who needed to leave the tour early.
That same summer his mom, Carrie, offered to lend a hand at an event. We began to see even more of the family when dad, Bill, stepped up for the first time to help at Victorian Horrors. The next year, while Adam continued on as a Page, Carrie and Bill completed volunteer training and began to take active roles in the Museum.
We have had family groups in the past offering their time to make the Museum the best it can be—mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, grandparents with their grandkids—but this family is special. It’s not just that they offer their talents across a wide range of areas, but that we often have all three working together on single event, but covering so many different areas and doing so on such a regular basis. While Adam has continued on as a Page, he has also lent a hand at multiple events and programs such as our Low Sensory mornings.
Carrie continues helping with events from teas to Victorian Horrors, offering up her experience and talent from her position as the activities director at an assisted living facility. In fact, using her experience from trying similar activities with residents at her job, Carrie helped us decide which of a variety of activities might work best for our visitors to engage with as we were planning last year’s Brown’s Happiest Christmas. She, Adam, and Bill also helped at the event, pressing delicious pizzelle, helping with games, and engaging with guests in a variety of ways.
Bill not only helps with events, taking on roles for some of our 1340 Penn shenanigans, but he has played a vital role in making the Molly Brown House Museum more accessible to people. Have you seen our Virtual Tours on either our YouTube channel or our website? Bill worked with staff while the museum was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic to create these tours so that our potential guests and fans had a way to engage with the museum when they couldn’t physically come to the museum. Bill actually began working on the project by offering to lend a hand creating virtual tours for guests who aren’t able to climb to the 2nd and 3rd floors of our historic house. Those videos have been available now for about a year via an iPad in our Accessibility Lounge, located on the back porch, where our guests can wait to rejoin their tour without missing any of the information shared by the docent leading the tour.
Adam, Carrie, and Bill have only been volunteering with the Museum for a (relatively) short time but they have made a big impact. It’s become hard to imagine the Museum without them! We are so grateful for everything that they contribute to making the Molly Brown House Museum a welcoming place for all of our guests.
By: Kim Popetz, Volunteer & Events Coordinator