“We have needed more shelving in our large artifact room and we need to be able to move some of the artifacts around to make room for some newer ones."

The McPherson Museum will have a little more breathing room for new artifacts, thanks to a Volunteer Kansas grant.

The museum was chosen as one of 11 organizations across the state to receive a 2017 Volunteer Kansas Seed Grant this week. In it’s sixth year, the Volunteer Kansas program awards organizations with a $500 grant to engage volunteers in their projects around the state.

“We have needed more shelving in our large artifact room and we need to be able to move some of the artifacts around to make room for some newer ones. I thought this grant would be perfect to provide the shelving we need to get the artifacts where they’re more easily accessible and we can have a better inventory process in the large artifact room,” Museum Director Anna Ruxlow said. “If something is donated to us, we’ll have the space to accept it until it can go on exhibit.”

Volunteer Kansas is a nonprofit based in Wichita focused on increasing volunteerism in Kansas and providing free resources to those seeking volunteers or volunteer opportunities.

In order to qualify for the grants, organizations had to submit proposals for projects that would incorporate at least 20 volunteers, agree to list their project on Volunteer Kansas’ website and post photos of their projects on social media.

“It will be a little bit of a stretch for us to gather 20 volunteers, but we hope to do this over this summer when there are students available to help. We can have all ages involved in this. We have to document the process, take photos and have some food and drink for the volunteers as well,” Ruxlow said. “With the museum, we don’t have set times for our projects. A lot of our volunteer opportunities allow people to work on their own schedules. You don’t have to be there for specific times or dates to complete a project because we have a pretty lengthy process and there’s some flexibility in that.”

The vision of Volunteer Kansas is to move Kansas from number seven in the nation for volunteerism to number one. So far, the culture of volunteerism in McPherson is contributing to that boost in service.

“There’s so many different levels available in McPherson. If you can’t find a place to volunteer, you’re not looking hard 

enough,” Ruxlow said. “We have such good volunteers that a lot of ours volunteer for other organizations as well. There’s plenty of opportunities out there and our schools promote it, so kids looking for volunteer hours can easily find them here.”

Now, the museum is looking to schedule the project this summer and will announce volunteer opportunities on social media, local news outlets and on their website at http://mcphersonmuseum.com.

For more information on Volunteer Kansas, visit http://volunteerkansas.org.