April is National Volunteer Month and this past week (April 18 – 24, 2021) was Volunteer Appreciation Week.  This past week our Executive Director, Kathy Fleming, addressed our volunteers to thank them for their service, dedication, support, and hard work this past year.  As you know, COVID-19 has changed the nonprofit landscape so much, but our volunteers and staff have partnered to keep our Museum’s mission and work going even in the midst of a pandemic.  Here is the letter Kathy Fleming wrote to our volunteers:

Friday, April 23, 2021

Dear St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum Volunteers,

Booker T. Washington wrote that if you want to lift yourself up, lift someone else up. I want to thank each of our museum volunteers for lifting us up over the past 24 months. You are extraordinary to all of us, but also to me personally.

Thank you to those who help stand the tower and protect visitors. Your positive spirit makes a huge difference. Thank you to our boat builders, crafting unique, sea-going art from archival plans. Thank you to those who bring their passion each week to educational programs and tours. Thanks to those who work in the labs or archives with ancient artifacts. Thank you to those who clean, sanitize and promote us. Thank you to those who have reimagined our events in safe new ways or decorated to make each season brighter. Thank you to those in the background, folding, mailing, or designing. Thank you to those who tirelessly support our non-profit mission and are out there asking others to join us, or support us, or visit us. Thank you to those who help maintain our landscape and gardens so beautifully. Thank you to those donating professional services and supplies or researching rare collections. Thank you to those who shared your family heritage with us. May we do you and everyone justice. Thank you to those who help us teach children and who so beautifully share their knowledge and experience. I share gratitude too for those who share their contacts and friends. Thank you most for sharing encouragement. And, thank you to everyone who offered a smile or who provided a word of reassurance.

Together, we cherish and love each other, and we succeed in the face of fear. It takes all of us. We live in a remarkable state, and work in a remarkable city. We have remarkable staff, but our volunteers are the glue that holds this big and complicated puzzle together. We simply could not do it without you.

The care and love we share for you, our museum family members, can’t really be expressed in words. But I hope this helps you feel what we all feel for you. We celebrate our volunteers.

With Great Affection,

Kathy A. Fleming
Executive Director