Hundreds of people generously donate their time and skills to our organization every year. They give tours, serve on committees, balance our cash drawer, help us preserve our buildings and artifacts, answer our phones, prepare bulk mailings, do research, and perform many many other essential tasks.

Are you interested in volunteering with the Oberlin Heritage Center? Read about a few of our volunteer opportunities, and email the Museum Education and Tour Manager if you want to join our crew.

If you are already a volunteer, please download this form in order to document your hours of service. Please return the form to us by email, fax, or mail. It is important for us to keep track of our volunteers' hours of service as this information is always of interest to foundations and other grantmakers.

Meet a Few of Our Volunteers

Terry Hobbs volunteers to mow the lawn of the Oberlin Heritage Center

Terry Hobbs

Terry has been taking excellent care for the grounds of the Oberlin Heritage Center for over 20 years. Before him, his father also volunteered! He is a retired senior manufacturing engineer who used to work at the Parker Hannifin Corporation. Terry maintains our equipment, helps with grounds keeping and his talent in woodworking has benefited OHC several times, including when he constructed our bike rack. Terry is a wonderful volunteer, as well as a "goodwill ambassador" to the community. He has even taken docent training so that he can answer all of the questions visitors ask as they are walking through the grounds. He received the Oberlin Heritage Center Volunteer of the Year award in 2003.

Darlene Krato volunteers to give tours at the Oberlin Heritage Center

Darlene Krato

Less than a year after becomming a member in 2000, Darlene took docent training and began giving tours at the Oberlin Heritage Center. Darlene brings wonderful experience to her volunteer duties having had docent training at the Detroit Institute for the Arts, conducted local history research and tours in Grosse Pointe and Detroit, and served as the president of the board of the Metropolitan Detroit Cystic Fibrosis Board of Directors. She has logged hundreds of hours as a docent for the Oberlin Heritage Center! In addition to giving tours, Darlene has presented at the Heritage Center's "World Cultures for Kids" summer camp. She has chaired the Kendal Art Committee and the Water Color Group. Darlene also supports the community by volunteering at the Allen Memorial Art Museum and giving tours of the Weltzheimer/Johnson House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. We were very happy to give Darlene our Volunteer of the Year award in 2007!

Ruth giving tours in historic costume.

Ruth Schwaegerle

Ruth Schwaegerle moved to Kendal at Oberlin from Elyria, Ohio in 1994 with her husband Ed. Around the same time, she began volunteering at the Oberlin Heritage Center. She volunteers as a docent and office helper, and sometimes much more than that! Ruth served on the Board of Trustees for several years, and remains active as an Honorary Trustee. She chairs the organization's membership committee and helps the development committee with fundraisers and her famous breakfasts. At Kendal she has chaired the Resident's House Committee and the Helping Hands Committee, as well as served as a "membership ambassador" for the Oberlin Heritage Center. She previously taught oil painting, and was active in state and local youth work for her church, as well as establishing a program for girls in the County Detention Home and serving as a President of Church Women United. Ruth certainly deserves the Oberlin Heritage Center Volunteer of the Year award that she received in 2005.

Betty gives tours at the Oberlin Heritage Center and has helped with researc projects

Betty Mahjoub

Betty began volunteering with the Oberlin Heritage Center after moving back here from Missouri. Since taking docent training in 2005, she has kindly committed herself to giving tours once a week. Betty also serves on our Board of Trustees. She has been involved in the public health field, music, photography, and the Oberlin City Recreation Commission. While in Missouri, Betty was on the Jefferson City Missouri Bicentennial Lewis and Clark Task Force and followed the path of Lewis and Clark from St. Louis to Oregon. Betty is also training to be a docent at the Cleveland Zoo. Recently, Betty has spear-headed the Oberlin Heritage Center's souvenir playing card project, the products of which should debut in fall 2007!

Dina Schoonmaker is very involved in our oral history project

Dina Schoonmaker

Dina was one of the first volunteer docents at the Oberlin Heritage Center. She is currently a board member and also serves on the Oberlin Heritage Center's Oral History Committee. Together with Marly Merrill and Priscilla Steinberg she received the 2003 Oberlin Heritage Center Community Historian Award. She and her husband host guests throughout the year as part of our Bed and Breakfast fundraising project. Dina performed in the 2003 Ohio Bicentennial production "From Here: A Century of Voices from Ohio." She has also been involved with Friends of the Oberlin College Library and Oberlin's Historic Preservation Commission.

Katy Lester helps balance the books and keep us in the green!

Katy Lester

Katy has been a regular volunteer of the Oberlin Heritage Center for more than nine years and volunteered more than 800 hours in that time! Since before 1998, she has been coming to the office every week to reconcile our cash drawer and make the weekly cash deposit. She has become such a reliable volunteer that she is sorely missed when she's on vacation. Katy is also always willing to help at special events and for her steadfast service to the organization she received a Volunteer of the Year award in 2006!