Why Join AmeriCorps at AHI

Why join AmeriCorps at Arthurdale Heritage?

After graduating from WVU last year with a degree in International Studies, I decided to take an AFHA AmeriCorps position at Arthurdale Heritage. My year of service here has been incredible. It’s not only a great resume booster, but also the perfect transition from college to a career. Thanks to the meaningful work we do here, I have learned so many new skills and can now market myself in so many different directions. I’ve seen improvements with my public speaking, confidence, networking, marketing and communication, people skills, and so much more. It also provides invaluable experience if you want to work in the nonprofit world. 

Because of this position, just to name a few examples, I’ve been in the paper twice, on the news once, and on two separate occasions met a WV Senator and a WV Representative. It truly has been a year of personal development, while also making a difference in the community.

About the site, Arthurdale Heritage, Inc. (AHI)

Arthurdale is right next door in Preston County and is a wealth of unique American history. It was the first community created under the New Deal Homestead Subsistence Act. It became Eleanor Roosevelt’s pet project and therefore, she spent a great deal of time here. AHI comprises of the Center Hall complex, Administration building, Forge, old Esso station, and two original homes. One of the coolest things about this AmeriCorps position is that they actually provide housing for their members—a perk not common of other AmeriCorps sites and programs. I get to live in one of the beautiful original homes that the museum owns! Besides a free place to stay while serving for a year, there are other perks to joining AmeriCorps, as well. You get bi-monthly stipends, eligibility for SNAP and other assistance programs, loan deferral, and upon completing your term, you receive an education award of nearly $6,000 that can go towards more schooling or towards student loans.

The community is so fun to work with, too! Being a small nonprofit, we rely a lot on volunteers and fundraising. Those two struggles, believe it or not, are some of the best parts of working here. Many of the volunteers are descendants of original homesteaders or grew up in Arthurdale their whole lives, so they have amazing stories to share. Just being a part of this community alone has made my time here worthwhile.

What do you do?

Day-to-day activities can range from giving tours, to planning events, handling the social media page, helping with unique classes (from weaving to baby goat yoga), volunteer recruitment and management, and overall doing what you can to help the small non-profit museum. You can also attend an array of seminars, courses, conferences, and receive free admission into events to represent AHI, such as Cheat Fest. Serving here is pleasant, fulfilling, and fun! AHI gets two AmeriCorps members a year which makes it even more enjoyable. Serving at AHI has been one of the best decisions I’ve made upon graduation. Both of us AmeriCorps members are grateful for this experience and want to share it with some of those unsure of what to do or looking to serve next year.

Volunteers Loretta Davis, Richard “Dick” Myers, and others honored at Annual Membership Dinner

Loretta Davis, of Arthurdale, was named 2011 Volunteer of the Year at the annual Arthurdale Heritage membership meeting and dinner on Oct. 23.

Mrs. Davis has contributed many hours of creativity and effort from Arthurdale Heritage’s beginning days, including her spearheading of the Craft Shop in recent years. The Craft Shop sells hand-crafted artisan items, just as the original Craft Shop did during the 1930s and ‘40s.

The late Richard “Dick” Myers, was honored with a Pioneer Award, Arthurdale Heritage’s award for lifetime dedication to the organization.  Mr. Myers was one of the volunteers who helped with the New Deal subsistence home project’s property acquisition and historic restoration efforts from the earliest days in 1984. Marilee Hall, gave a touching remembrance of Mr. Myers and his wife Carol received the award on his behalf.  Mr. Myers grew up in Arthurdale and met Eleanor Roosevelt on a number of occasions as a young man.

Others honored we the volunteers of the month, Donna Harris, Holly Spooner, Steven Marra, Janet Collins, Chris Shaffer, Roger Day, Marvin Hileman, John & Wanda Bolyard, Sarah & Arnold Bolyard, Mick Myers, Laura Bitely, Loretta Davis, and Carol Myers.

Special recognition was also given to the volunteer tour guides who staff the museum on the weekends to greet visitors from many states and parts of West Virginia.  The volunteer committee which handles the Craft Shop were also thanked. The successful completion of the first Preston County History Days from June through September involving publicity of the various historic sites around the county was celebrated.

Other recent events include four volunteers performing clean-up efforts during United Way of Monongalia and Preston Counties “Day of Caring” in August. Their efforts resulted in more impressive museum exhibit areas and better access to and control of supplies. The exhibition of the Fratkin Collection during the summer provided additional FDR-related items for enhanced learning opportunities.

Thank you everyone for your dedication and hard work!

Volunteers and Supporters of AHI

Volunteers of the Month Donna Harris, Holly Spooner, Roger Day, Marvin Hileman, John Bolyard, Loretta Davis (Volunteer of the Year), Arnold Bolyard, and Wanda Bolyard

United Way Day of Caring 2011

Volunteers from the United Way of Monongalia and Preston Counties teamed up with AHI for the United Way’s annual ‘Day of Caring’ on August 3. Three volunteers from Allegheny Power in Albright, Kenny Kisner, Mark Stephens, and Scott Baylor, worked for over 2 hours cleaning out and organizing the Center Hall basement. Thanks to their hard work, we can now find and access the supplies that are stored down there. Teresa Plum worked cleaning up in the Forge. She did a wonderful job vacuuming and dusting the shelves and ledges and it looks great.

Thank you to everyone who came out and helped!

Beat the Heat Chili Cookoff Winners

Congratulations to our Beat the Heat Chili Cookoff winners! Craig Roscoe is this year’s Beat the Heat Chili Cookoff Champion and John Biafore won the People’s Choice Award. Thanks to everyone who participated. It was a really tasty afternoon!

Thanks to everyone who attended and volunteered!

United Way Volunteers Pitch in to Help Arthurdale Heritage

Front Row (left to right): Helen Nikirk, United Way coordinator Martha White. Back Row (left to right): Nick Taylor, Chris Hudson II, Brandon Hudson, Chris Hudson Not Pictured: Lora Quince

Volunteers from the United Way of Monongalia and Preston Counties rolled up their sleeves to help Arthurdale Heritage (AHI). It was all part of the United Way’s Day of Caring. Six United Way volunteers from WesBanco’s Kingwood branch and Allegheny Energy’s Albright Power Station teamed up with AHI volunteers to clean and organize storage facilities at its Center Hall Complex.

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New Deal Festival Celebrates Arthurdale Heritage’s 25th Anniversary

Arthurdale Heritage President Sarah Barnes (left) and AHI Executive Director Jeanne Goodman (right) display Governor Manchin's proclamation declaring July 'Arthurdale Heritage Month.'

Arthurdale Heritage (AHI) is celebrating its Silver Anniversary this July at its New Deal Festival. To kick off the celebration, West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin issued a proclamation declaring July ‘Arthurdale Heritage Month.’

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Volunteers Win State Award for Work on Eleanor Roosevelt Memorial Garden

The Preston County Master Gardeners have received top honors for their efforts to construct and maintain Arthurdale Heritage’s Eleanor Roosevelt Memorial Garden. Master Gardeners Becky Friend, Mildred Lindley, Russ Sanders, and Barb Sanders were awarded the West Virginia Master Gardener Award of Excellence for Outstanding Volunteer Project. The award, given by West Virginia University’s Extension Service, recognizes volunteers who dedicate a significant amount of time and creative effort in gardening and landscaping projects.

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Tour Guide Training May 22

Arthurdale Heritage needs weekend tour guides for Saturdays and Sundays (12-4). We will be having a tour guide training session Saturday, May 22 at 12:00 pm. Please meet in the Center Hall.

Being a tour guide is fun and enables you to meet some very interesting people. Last year, we had visitors from as far awa…y as the Ukraine. Another tour guide met a woman who served as a Peace Corp volunteer in Bosnia during the 1992-95 war!

Help Arthurdale Heritage do more to help others understand the value of this historic preservation project.

If you’d like to see what it is like to be a tour guide, please come to the training session this Saturday. Email or call for more info: ahi@arthurdaleheritage.org, phone: 304-864-3959 Tuesday through Friday, noon to 4 p.m., and we’ll be happy to discuss your interest in lending a helping hand.

How You Can Help…

Celebrate spring with a much-appreciated gift to Arthurdale Heritage.  We are fortunate that our building maintenance projects* worked on during the past year can be partially paid for by state grants if Arthurdale Heritage can receive enough gifts to match the amounts the state will provide.

We hope you will be able to help Arthurdale Heritage reach its goal of $8,500 by June to meet these grant requirements. By achieving this goal, each gift will be doubled by the state funds.

Click here to make your gift online or mail a check made payable Arthurdale Heritage, Inc. to P. O. Box 850, Arthurdale, WV 26520.

All donors who give $50 or more will be included on the donor listing displayed in the Center Hall year-round (in gift categories of $50 – $99, $100 – $249, $250 – $499, $500 – $999, and $1000 and above).

Fortunately, Rick isn't afraid of heights!

AHI only exists because of people like you who are willing to give of their time and money.  Please help us continue to save the past for the future.

Thanks so much,
Sarah Barnes, President
Jeanne Goodman, Executive Director

* The projects we’re so proud of are the new Center Hall floor, new garage bay doors, new service station doors and windows, and drainage improvements. Continue Reading