Sunday, January 10, 2010

88th Carnival of Genealogy, Volunteerism

The topic for the next edition of the 88th Carnival of Genealogy is: Volunteerism! Here's a chance to toot your horn about whatever genealogy projects, organizations, or events you voluntarily give your time and efforts to. What do you get out of volunteering? How did you decide what to volunteer for? How much time each month do you spend volunteering for genealogy projects/organizations/events? Is there an organization or project you'd like to recommend to others? Tell us all about it! This carnival is hosted by Jasia over at Creative Gene.

Now, here is a subject that is close to my heart. I was a volunteer at a local LDS FHC for a number of years. I ordered films, filed em away at the end of the day, all those librarian type duties, but the most rewarding part was helping newbies get started on their research. So happens this is where I met cousin Anne ( Gene Notes ).

I served as the president of the Lenawee County Family Researchers for 10 years. I wrote a lot of president messages during that time for inclusion in the club’s newsletter, a number of those articles were about volunteering.

I did a little time at the local historical society, I have done lookups for researchers from afar.

Come summer you will find me stomping around a cemetery or two. I currently have 1.76 gigs of data on my computer for this project. Believe me, the majority of that work has been done by other Lenawee County volunteers. They have donated hundreds of hours to the project, I am humbled by the responsibility of the guardianship of those records.

I help the Lenawee County Family Researchers, the local genealogy club format resource books, we have published six cemetery books and several others as well. The club provides the stimulus and the software, I provide a bit of creativity and computer skills and together we preserve resources for other researchers.

I have done a bit of teaching. Actually, I think this is the volunteer duty that I personally enjoy the most. Several years ago in a campground we stayed in I started an informal genealogy group, where we gathered once a week and chatted about our favorite sport. Soon it became evident that they wanted more formal sessions, so, the next year, I came prepared to teach. I had a blast! And the feedback was so rewarding, I mean, does it get any better, when one of your students stops you in the street and is so excited about a HIT they found with a HINT they learned in your class? Teaching involved a lot of prep time, but the reward was SOOOO worth it! I am currently not teaching, but, just give me an opportunity and I would gladly do so, I even have my projector along with us, gotta be prepared!

Yours truly, teaching away.  LOL

I have a blog that is pure volunteerism, Lenawee County Bibles and Bible Records, which I wrote about here, Giving back . I found old fading Bibles at the Lenawee County Historical Society and I became obsessed with preserving them. Many of the transcriptions were published in the Lenawee County Family Researchers newsletter, then I got permission to put them online. They have had several homes, moving them is quite the chore, I hope this blog is the last home I have to move them into.

Over the last 19 years or so, all of my volunteering has been family history related. It is fun, it is rewarding, I have a bit of researching skill and want to use the gift to help others. Why do I volunteer??  This says it all for me:

"From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.." -- Luke 12:48 New International Version

*  I feel rather uncomfortable having this post be all about me. Since the rest of what I have to say does not fit the parameters for the Carnival, I will publish two posts, noting that the second one is the one I really wanted to write!

** Poster by footnoteMaven



Dorene from Ohio said...

A volunteer from Lenawee County once helped me with some of my Parker roots! You aren't far from
Ohio there!

Great post!

Judith Richards Shubert said...

I truly think you are doing a great service - I love your teaching at the campgrounds. What a great idea!

J.M. said...

Thank you for volunteering your time to project that we can all make use of!