Volunteers are Vital

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” - Helen Keller

Our volunteers are vital to Pasadena Museum of History’s success. They provide the foundation for any and all of our events. Not only do volunteers give generously of their time to help with the daily requirements of our museum, including answering phones, organizing papers, and countless other nuanced tasks; they are also instrumental and irreplaceable multitaskers at our larger events that can welcome over 1,000 visitors to our campus. Their passion for history, art, community, and charity helps spread our museum's mission to all they meet. We would be lost without their kindness and dedication. 

PMH Volunteers greet guests during MOTA Day 2019. Photo by Brad Macneil.

One of our most prestigious events, Museums of the Arroyo (MOTA) Day perfectly illustrates how volunteers contribute to our success.

MOTA Day is one of PMH’s most ambitious and complex annual events. It is the only day of the year that the campus is completely open and available to the public for free. Participating with five other local cultural institutions, it celebrates the diversity of art, architecture, and history of the Arroyo Seco area. We create a vibrant event by showcasing our current exhibition, the Fenyes Mansion and gardens, and the Finnish Folk Art Museum. In addition, we offer arts and crafts activities for children, special presentations and/or performances and make sure the guests stay refreshed with a popular food truck in our parking lot. With so much going on, our volunteers truly rise to the occasion and shine.

anet Kadin, President of the Volunteer Council and longtime docent, gives a mini tour of the Fenyes Mansion during MOTA Day 2019. Photo by Brad Macneil
Janet Kadin, President of the Volunteer Council and longtime docent, talks with visitors in the Fenyes Mansion entry hall during MOTA Day 2019. Photo by Brad Macneil.

NCL volunteers help guests make their own cowpoke vests with crafts by Art2Go during MOTA Day 2019. Photo by Brad Macneil.

As the first faces that our guests see upon arrival, the volunteers instantly make everyone feel welcomed with their smiles and plethora of knowledge. They are equipped to answer any question a guest might have. The volunteers are entrenched in every aspect of this event. They work as gallery hosts with information of the current exhibition; direct patrons to the Gidding’s Room for the crafts activities, where they work alongside NCL (National Charity League) volunteers; they even work in our Museum Store to assist guests with finding specialty items. One of the most unique MOTA Day offerings is the mini tour of the Fenyes Mansion. Here our volunteers truly get to shine as docents as they share their rich knowledge on the life and home of Dr. Adalbert and Eva Fenyes. 

MOTA Day is one event that relies upon volunteers to help in every area and in every aspect. It showcases their strengths, kindness, knowledge, and generosity. This event, and this museum, could not function without the loyalty and patronage of our wonderful volunteers. 

- Janelle Piva