Historic Manassas, Inc.

May 30, 2023

Marian Stanley's Journey of Making a Difference

Volunteering is widely recognized as a selfless and admirable act that benefits others, and at Historic Manassas, Inc., we deeply value and appreciate the dedication and assistance provided by our Welcome Center volunteers, who play a crucial role in ensuring the smooth functioning of this establishment on a daily basis.

In this article-interview, we have the privilege of introducing Marian Stanley, one of our valued volunteers at Historic Manassas, Inc., who has not only found a way to make the most of her time but also to make a positive impact on the community.

Marian, when did you first start volunteering at Historic Manassas, Inc.?
I began volunteering here eight years ago, around 2015.

What motivated you to become a volunteer at Historic Manassas, Inc.?
After retiring from my job I was looking for an interesting way to contribute to my local community. I enjoy engaging with people rather than participating in solitary activities, so I decided to reach out and volunteer here.

What aspect of volunteering do you enjoy the most?
One of the things I appreciate about volunteering at Historic Manassas, Inc. is the variety of events and unexpected occurrences. I would quickly become bored if I had to do the same thing every day, but here, each day brings something new and exciting.

Marian enjoys helping the visitors that comes to the Welcome Center at the Train Depot. She is always willing to answer their questions and help them anyway she can.

Why do you believe community service is important?
Volunteers are the backbone of thriving communities. Most individuals lead busy lives, juggling work and family commitments, while volunteers possess the additional time and dedication necessary to help events, cities, and various initiatives run smoothly. We play a crucial role in making it all happen.

What can individuals who choose to volunteer at Historic Manassas, Inc. expect to gain from the experience?
By volunteering here, you have the opportunity to engage in a wide range of activities while also connecting with people from all walks of life. It offers a unique perspective on what matters to different individuals and countries. Meeting interesting people and having a great time are additional perks.

Have you encountered any fascinating individuals during your eight years as a volunteer?
Certainly! On one occasion, I met a couple from Norway, and I happened to be interested in visiting the Arctic capitals. We engaged in a delightful discussion about that topic.

In a short sentence, how would you describe the feeling of volunteering at Historic Manassas, Inc.?
For me, the ultimate satisfaction of volunteering here comes from solving problems and knowing that I have made a meaningful contribution, which is truly gratifying.

Marian Stanley and Dan Dykstra, who volunteers on Mondays and Thursday's afternoon, will greet and welcome all our visitors with a nice smile.

Having lived in Manassas for 34 years, you've undoubtedly witnessed numerous changes. What do you enjoy about being a part of these transformations, not only as a volunteer but also as a resident?
What intrigues me is that, for the first 20 years, I had limited knowledge of Manassas—I simply knew the route to work, back home, and the occasional weekend errands. However, since I started volunteering here, I have become acquainted with the streets, the diverse community, and developed a broader perspective of Manassas, which has made it incredibly interesting for me.

Has this altered your sense of belonging to the community?
Absolutely. Otherwise, I could be living in Newark, New Jersey, without making much of a difference. By volunteering, I get the chance to introduce visitors to the city, discuss ongoing events, and personalize the experience based on my own interests and encounters. As a result, individuals can visit on two different days and gain slightly different perspectives of the city, influenced by the volunteers' unique experiences and interests.

Would you encourage others to join in volunteering at Historic Manassas, Inc.?
I wholeheartedly extend an invitation to anyone seeking an active and engaging volunteer role to join.

If you feel inspired and would like to volunteer with Historic Manassas, Inc., there are opportunities at the Visitor Center, the Farmers Market and for Special Events. Find out more on this LINK.

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Historic Manassas, Inc.
Visitor Center at the Train Depot
9431 West Street
Manassas, Virginia 20110
City of Manassas
Main Street America
Virginia Main Street
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