September Volunteer Spotlight: Virginia Wall

Folkmoot’s monthly volunteer spotlight shines on Virginia Wall. Virginia has been a festival goer and avid supporter of Folkmoot since 2011 when her youngest daughter, Mary Miller, became a guide. Virginia said, “After Mary’s first year as a guide, I became involved with the festival. When I saw her enthusiasm, I was interested in seeing what Folkmoot was all about.”

 

At the time, Virginia was still working full time as a social worker and couldn’t devote a great deal of volunteer hours to Folkmoot. So for the first four years, she volunteered in the front office on the weekends during the festival and on additional nights when her schedule allowed. However, this past year Virginia retired from day-to-day work as a social worker and was willing and able to give more time to the Folkmoot organization that she had come to treasure. This year, supporters probably saw her smiling face in our front office selling tickets or if you called into the office, Virginia answered the phone!

 

“Virginia was such a delight to have to work in the office this summer, from her quirky humor to her spontaneous dance moves. She always has a smile on her face and that’s something special to see every day coming into work.” said Group Relations and Program Coordinator, Elizabeth Burson, “EB”.

 

Working in the front office is no easy task, as it is fast-paced, requires administrative and communication skills and takes a special kind of person who knows the art of providing outstanding customer service. This job fits Virginia well! For the three months leading up to the July festival, Virginia was regularly at the Center, and she would often offer to stay late if assistance was needed. “Virginia’s volunteer commitment has helped Folkmoot grow, and because she is contributing her time and skills, she is a big inspiration to all of us,” said Operations and Volunteer Coordinator, Catherine MacCallum.

 

For Folkmoot’s year-round programming and the 2018 festival, Virginia will develop a “street team” that will travel together to surrounding communities and distribute Folkmoot marketing materials. “A focused street team is something I’ve wished for over the last three festivals but we haven’t found the right person, until now, “ says Folkmoot Director, Angie Schwab. “We asked Virginia to help last year and she’d come back to the office with great stories about each venture, new allies for Folkmoot and empty distribution boxes.” Now, the coordination of volunteers, training, scheduling, and implementation will be in the capable hands of Virginia. “And I’m excited to have this piece of our work covered by someone so personable, competent and willing; Thanks, Virginia!” says Angie.

 

Over these past six years, Virginia has formed meaningful relationships with other volunteers and performers from many groups. When asked what the most important aspect of Folkmoot was to her, Virginia answered, “The presence of our performers, and the love and peace they show towards each other during the festival.” By far her favorite group would have to be the Netherlands groups from 2012 and 2017. Victor, in particular, was a crowd favorite but she thoroughly enjoyed hearing him sing. We also asked her what her favorite event was, “Hands down the Candlelight Closing”.

 

Virginia epitomizes the sentiment volunteers share when they talk about the value of Folkmoot and their experiences. “Come with an open mind and heart. Ask lots of questions and know you are appreciated by all the staff for your time, no matter how many hours you provide,” she noted. When asked to describe Folkmoot in one word, Virginia’s word was “Joy.” She added,  “It’s fun to see how we communicate with each other, speaking different languages and somehow it works! We understand each other and are able to help one another.”

 

Folkmoot could not function without its wonderful volunteers, and Virginia Wall is someone who has contributed above and beyond any of our expectations. The staff thanks Virginia for her time and commitment to helping share the mission of Folkmoot with the community. Thank you, Virginia Wall. Thank you!

For more information about volunteer opportunities, contact Catherine MacCallum, Operations & Volunteer Coordinator at catherine@folkmoot.org.