Boston may be largely sequestered behind closed doors for much of April — which is also Volunteer Appreciation Month — but that’s not an obstacle for WGBH’s volunteers, some of whom have been donating their time and skills for more than 50 years.
“I marvel at the volunteerism we see all year at WGBH, and I wouldn’t expect the stay-at-home order would dampen that,” says Jaime Reese, senior manager of member engagement. “Volunteers are using their social media accounts to publicize WGBH’s educational resources, and they are working with our digital team to test some of our new innovations,” she says.
Still others are editing archived transcripts in the American Archive of Public Broadcasting through FixIt Plus, a joint venture of WGBH and PBS.
Over a typical year, more than 2,500 volunteers help with more than 300 WGBH events, auction and tours. Their contribution provides the organization with more than $300,000 worth of labor a year, says Reese.
Bostonian Amanda Bullard especially likes helping at sensory-friendly events, such as the activities during last summer’s family-oriented FunFest.
“I really wanted to help WGBH any way I could, so volunteering was a no-brainer,” she says. “Volunteering here was one of the best decisions I’ve made.”
Steve Wasserman, who is something of a legend in the halls of WGBH for his 53 years of volunteering, was inspired to volunteer by his mother-in-law, who was an auction bid-taker captain and needed more hands. He has gone on to become auction wine manager, a FunFest scooper volunteer trainer, host between tapings of High School Quiz Show and studio tour docent.
A number of volunteers have asked Reese where else they can volunteer while most WGBH events are on hiatus. Here's how to get involved:
- Support a local arts organization by subscribing now to their next season.
- Adopt or foster a pet, which will reduce the strain on shelters.
- Check in with people in your community, especially seniors or those with underlying health issues, and offer to shop, walk the dog or do an errand.
- Support your local restaurants by buying takeout or gift cards.
- Donate blood to the American Red Cross. Make an appointment here.
Learn more about volunteering at WGBH here.