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Volunteers and interns make history everyday!

Volunteers and interns make history everyday!

Kimberly Purifoy
Volunteers make history everyday!

A recent study released by UnitedHealth Group revealed there are significant short and long-term benefits of volunteering in your community. It pointed out that while there are many paths to good health, volunteering is one people generally don't think of as healthcare assistance. Bottom line, doing good is good for you!

People who volunteer feel better-physically, mentally and emotionally. Volunteers frequently tell us they are convinced their health is better because of the things they do when they "give back." They manage their stress better and feel a stronger connection to their communities. There are many steps along the path to good health. Being a volunteer is one that should not be overlooked. No matter how you get involved, it can make a meaningful difference in so many ways.

The importance of volunteerism at the Minnesota Historical Society cannot be overstated. People devoting their time to our organization play a vital role in the success of the work we do. In fiscal year 2013, the organization benefited from the talents of nearly 2,100 volunteers and interns who contributed 55,600 hours of their time to our projects. That is the equivalent of 26 full-time employees contributing a total $1.2 million of value to the Society. And still there is room for more.


Marty Kuretsky
Volunteer opportunities at MHS are far ranging. Volunteers serve to greet visitors at sites throughout our system, conduct surveys for our exhibits, register library patrons and provide meaningful feedback to students as judges for the state's History Day program among many other important functions. Interns bring enthusiasm, freshness and energy to our organization while we provide them with hands-on experience in collections, membership and development. At the same time, their assistance is invaluable on projects related to digital technology that is changing the way we deliver our programs and services to Minnesotans all over the world.

While summer in Minnesota is an incredibly hectic time for many, the work of helping others has proven to be transformational for our volunteers. We hear over and over that the service they provide to others is a welcome recharge for their batteries. In his fifth year, Marty Kuretsky sums up the benefits of volunteering. "I can't wait to get to the History Center on Wednesdays and Fridays! I've been richly rewarded in my life and it feels good knowing I'm giving something back to the community. The conversations I've enjoyed and the smiles I've shared with employees and guests are the best compensation for a job I've ever had."

Considering the return to both the organization and the volunteer, it is well worth turning a summer break into a summer of service. Instill the benefits of volunteering in your children and invite a friend or co-worker to work with you. While enhancing the work of the organization, you will gain knowledge and skills that will empower you for the rest of the year and keep you on a healthy path the rest of your life. You will be amazed by the difference you can make in your community - and how much better you feel.

For more information about current volunteer opportunities at the MHS, or for making a difference in our local community please visit the following websites: www.mnhs.org/about/volunteers/; www.handsontwincities.org; or www.volunteermatch.org.


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