The ARPHF is in great need of volunteers. Though volunteers are needed who live near the headquarters and venues of the APRHF, there are volunteer projects that can be worked on from anywhere in America.
If you live within an easy drive of La Plata, Missouri, and would like to volunteer your efforts frequently or even daily at the APRHF, there are a lot of ways that you can help out! The headquarters and main venues of the APRHF are located at the above address right near the Route "D" exit off Missouri Highway 63. La Plata is just a 10 minute drive from Kirksville and about a 20 minute driver from Moberly.
Our number one need is to keep the APRHF Silver Rails Gallery / Memorial Library and the APRHF exhibition of Amtrak history open longer hours to the public. We could use volunteers to just staff these locations to welcome the public. These venues do not get a lot of traffic at this time, but visitors do show up at random times during the day. We'd like to keep these venues open regular hours as much as possible so that visitors do not need to make an appointment for someone to open them up. At these volunteer positions you'll have a lot of idle time on your hands. But don't worry! We'll keep you busy! If you volunteer for this position, the first thing you should do is become familiar with everything on display so that you can explain the displays to visitors and answer any questions they might have. Beyond that, the APRHF always has lots of background work that can be done while you are waiting for the next visitors to arrive! These positions are best for people who live in the local area and can provide us with a schedule of the hours they'd like to volunteer and then keep to that schedule as much as possible.
Our other needs for volunteers include the below projects in La Plata as well as the projects listed further below that can be done from anywhere in America.
The Amtrak Southwest Chief departs every afternoon from Chicago and arrives into La Plata the same evening. This makes if very easy to get to La Plata from Chicago, and certainly an enjoyable ride for train enthusiasts. Since you don't arrive into La Plata until about 8pm in the evening, you will probably want to stay for at least a day or more to help out at the APRHF. The Amtrak Southwest Chief departs each morning from La Plata around 10am and arrives back in Chicago in mid afternoon. For the best Amtrak rates look for times that are not during the peak vacation time and not around holidays. Rates tend to be lower during the winter.
The Amtrak Southwest Chief departs early every morning from Kansas City around 7:30am to arrive in La Plata around 10am. At about 7:45pm each evening the train leaves La Plata to get back to Kansas City around 10pm. Thus, you can actually take the train to La Plata, spend a full day at your volunteer efforts, and be back to Kansas City that same evening! This makes it pretty convenient for anyone who'd like to come volunteer to APRHF in La Plata from time to time, as well as getting n an enjoyable train ride to boot!
When you visit La Plata, the APRHF can use your help with the projects in La Plata listed in the above section. When you are not in La Plata, the APRHF can use your help with the projects that can be done from anywhere as listed below.
If you live outside the areas mentioned above, you will probably rarely visit La Plata. If you do come to plan to come visit and would like to volunteer while you are in La Plata, please let us know well in advance. An extra set of hands is always needed. We can talk about which projects we are currently working on that you might be interested in helping with. In that way we'll have something ready for you to work on when you get here.
But, there is much you can help APRHF with even if you rarely ever come to La Plata. Below is a list of just a few of the APRHF projects that you can help with no matter where you live:
The above are 100% volunteer unpaid positions. The APRHF has NO PAID STAFF at all. Everything that the APRHF has achieved has been done with 100% volunteer effort, donations, and membership dues. All of us involved with the APRHF greatly appreciate the time and efforts of everyone that has volunteered to make this possible. According to IRS tax rules, volunteer time is not tax deductible. However, your mileage costs as well as any out of pocket costs and donations are probably deductible. Please check with your tax adviser.
The APRHF does not reimburse for the cost of gas, train or plane tickets for you to get to La Plata. However, if you drive an EV or PHEV, you are welcome to charge up at the free LEVEL II EV CHARGER located behind the Depot Inn & Suites even if you are not a hotel guest.
If you are traveling from out of town to La Plata to stay a few days to volunteer at the APRHF, special discount hotel rates are usually available to volunteers. Please contact us regarding availability and rates. The best availability and discount rates are during the winter and during the weekends.