Peggy Welsh says getting involved in her community as a volunteer was taught to her and her siblings growing up in Louisville.
This commitment to the community has stayed with her over the years.
Welsh volunteers at the Owensboro Museum of Science and History in downtown Owensboro, focusing primarily on guided tours for area school children.
“I know I’ve learned so much from volunteering,” Welsh said, standing near the museum’s replica of an underground cave. “Sometimes I have kids, and they come and tell me something that I don’t know, so I learned from kids, and I know kids learn from what we tell them.”
Museum director Kathy Olson said Welsh is the kind of volunteer every museum wants.
“Peggy is one of the volunteers who, when she embraces something, gives herself completely to the institution,” Olson said. “She’s a very loyal person, she’s incredibly community-minded. She (worked as) a social worker, and it makes sense that she cares about the community.
Welsh said some of his earliest experiences as a volunteer involved his family church in Louisville.
“When my siblings and I were young and in our early teens, our parents started involving us in the things they volunteered for,” she said. “When we were young teenagers, she had us do a haunted house with a fall festival, so we started doing things like that, and then in our church.”
Welsh remembers helping his youth group organize Saturday night teen dances.
“I wasn’t even old enough to get in, but I was the treasurer, so I was able to attend these auditions of these bands,” she said.
Welsh said that when students from local elementary schools arrive at the museum for a guided tour, museum staff and volunteers split up and occupy different areas. Welsh is assigned to speak to students about the large cave system that runs beneath the surface of much of Kentucky.
“I’m talking about the different entry areas, how people enter the cave,” Welsh said.
Welsh also shared his tip for knowing the difference between cave formations called stalactites and stalagmites, saying that a stalagmite rises “mite from the floor of the cave.” The stalactites, on the other hand, descend from the ceiling of the cave.
Olson said Welsh also attends the annual living history program at Elmwood-Rosehill Cemetery called “Voices of Elmwood”, where she narrates the program.
“It’s quite a commitment for anyone involved, and she’s been involved for years,” Olson said. “He’s the kind of volunteer who already has it on his calendar a year in advance.”
Welsh also participated in the Owensboro Public Schools Summer Feeding Program, which distributes food to students during the summer months. Olson said Welsh oversees the distribution of food at the museum.
“There’s paperwork involved, and you have to go through the meals and make sure everything is okay before you hand it out,” Olson said. “She did that for two months this year. It was the first time she had done it. »
Olson said there are always more ideas and plans than budget for many museums, and volunteers play a key role in helping the Owensboro Museum of Science and History provide a variety programs to the community.
“Peggy is all that encompasses a good volunteer,” Olson said. “She is one of those people who has all the energy in the world and a heart as big as the world.”
Welsh said that for her, volunteering is all about people and that she has met some great people since moving to Owensboro 29 years ago.