National Volunteer Appreciation Week is April 19—April 25 and Maymont is recognizing some of our volunteers that have made an impact. Hear from Virginia, a Maymont volunteer, her story in her own words why she enjoys volunteering at Maymont.
I have so many wonderful memories at Maymont; here are a few stories and memories of my time volunteering.
When I volunteer at Maymont, I not only get to help successfully run one of Richmond’s greatest gifts, I get to experience the joy of the visitors and of course, all of the animals and beauty Maymont’s nature has to offer.
The first time I arrived for my volunteer shift at Maymont in the morning, I was blown away by the captivating view in front of me. It was before Maymont was open to the public, so no one was there. It was picturesque—the sun was shining over the dewy grass and flowers, and it honestly took my breath away. I felt so lucky to have an experience like this and it happens every time I come to volunteer.
Secondly, the staff at Maymont are so kind! They are always willing to lend a helping hand and I truly believe that the teamwork that goes on behind the scenes is what makes Maymont a magical place. I have loved forming relationships with other volunteers who I haven’t even met before and bonded over the beauty of Maymont and the adorable animals. I have a few favorite memories with some of Maymont’s staff. I have gotten to feed the goats and sheep in their pasture which is a magical experience in itself. In the colder months, I have enjoyed bringing the baby pigs and goats inside the barn and seeing their graceful walk. I have seen the baby lambs and goats a week after they are born, so interested in all the world has to offer.
I have also loved seeing the expressions of pure joy and happiness of guests’ faces—young and old. When I am cleaning and sanitizing stalls in the Barn, I will sometimes peek out the window to look at an animal or Maymonts’ scenery. Nine times out of ten, I will see a few visitors huddled around an animal’s enclosure, with the expressions of pure delight across their faces. It is truly amazing to see a toddler look at a duck for the first time or an adult discovers a new animal at Maymont that wasn’t there the last time they visited.
Lastly, one of my absolute favorite moments at Maymont was when I was filling up the horses’ water buckets. I was standing in their pasture and I had done this task multiple times before; the horses almost always stay in their stall or on the other side of the pasture. However, this time it was different. The horses walked up to me while I was filling their bucket and I got to pet and stroke them; it was a memory I’ll never forget.