There are many ways that members of our community can choose to give back to the museum. As a cultural arts center and civilization museum, the Harlin Museum strives to continually offer knowledge, perspective, and a sense of community that celebrates our collective heritage. To accomplish this, we rely on the goodness and generosity of our patrons and visitors to help us achieve our goals of supporting the arts, preserving our regional history, and passing on all cumulative knowledge to those with inquiring minds.

Below are some ways that you can choose to give back and bring us closer to these goals. Anyone who is interested may call the museum or email us at [email protected] with their request to volunteer and in what capacity they would like to do so.


These are the volunteer positions that we are currently looking to fill at the museum.

  • Research Assistants – A position for volunteers with an interest in our regional history and a penchant for searching, solving, and learning; RA’s are needed to comb through collections of regional periodicals, digital archives, and public research sources to assist in the museum’s historical preservation projects, curation of exhibits and permanent displays, and other applications, as needed.  (This position can be filled by anyone with interest; you do not have to be located within the region to be an RA.)
    • Current projects needing RA’s: Tiny Towns Bicentennial Project, the museum’s exhibit detailing the history of West Plains (focusing on downtown and the Square with a chronological timeline of the city’s expansion), an exhibit chronicling the WP Dance Hall Explosion disaster, the museum’s exhibit on the evolution of medicine in Howell County and the history of the community’s doctors and hospitals (Dr. J.C.B. Dixon, Dr. A.H. Thornburgh, Dr. E.C. Bohrer, Cottage Hospital, Christa Hogan Hospital, Ozarks Medical Center, Air Evac, etc.)
  • Heavy-Lifters – A position for someone who is wanting to give back to their community and get a good workout at the same time; volunteers will be assisting gallery staff with moving all manner of heavy, large, awkward (and sometimes fragile) artifacts, display cases, furniture, and other such objects on a case-by-case basis. Ideally, would like to have at least 4-6 volunteers that can be called on to work as a group when needed.
  • Public Relations Assistants – A role for the friendly and extroverted volunteer who enjoys getting involved for a cause; PR Assistants will be promoting the mission of the museum with local businesses and patrons in order to sell advertising on museum media, to secure donations & competition prizes, and to assist with other similar tasks and goals, as needed.
  • Gallery Docents – A position for volunteers with time on their hands and a love of service in their heart; docents will need to physically be on location at the museum during open hours, must have a welcoming and friendly personality, able to field visitor questions and answer phone calls, have the ability to learn retail & consignment sale process for art & gift shop sales, light cleaning and organizational duties, and other tasks, as needed.
  • Event Volunteers – positions for volunteers who know how to have a good time and love to entertain; volunteers in these roles will help plan and coordinate museum events, provide finger food/baked goods/etc (either catered or homemade) as needed, decorate venues/tables/etc., design printed materials as they pertain to events, and other tasks, as needed.


These are items that the museum is currently in need of; new or used items are both welcome, as well as offers to build such items as listed below.

  • Several types of shelving units for the preservation and storage of artifacts, research materials, and the museum’s permanent art collection in our fire-safe artifact room
    • Heavy-duty stationary unit with adjustable-height shelving (click HERE to see examples of shelving needed)
    • Heavy-duty wire-rack shelving on casters (click HERE to see examples of shelving needed)
    • Bin rack shelving unit (click HERE for an example of unit needed)
  • Extra hooks for hanging art and other items from our attached gallery rail system (click HERE to see the exact kind of hooks needed)
  • Storage containers for artifacts, equipment, and miscellaneous supplies
    • Large plastic storage containers w/ tight-fitting lids (click HERE for an example of containers needed)
    • Multiple sizes of archival storage boxes (click HERE for an example of items needed
  • Clamp-on adjustable gooseneck lamps (click HERE for example of lamp needed)
  • Multiple types of small display cases, risers, and racks (see our Amazon Needs List with these items on it HERE)


As a nonprofit, volunteer-run entity, the Harlin Museum depends on financial gifts from the public to cover its ongoing operational costs, including:

  • utilities
  • security system service
  • insurance,
  • competition show prizes
  • advertising
  • printing costs
  • the cost of food, entertainment, and miscellaneous other costs involved with hosting museum events

On top of these basic costs, the museum aspires to raise funds in order to also:

  • repair damaged artwork in the Broadfoot Collection, as well as frame the unframed pieces and properly conserve the entire collection
  • create a proper art storage room out of an already existing room in the museum
  • add available wifi/internet access to improve the museum’s exhibits, classes, research, and other applicable uses by utilizing subsidized internet service through Mobile Citizen
  • consolidating the museum archives and available research material and digitizing them for student/researcher/visitor access
  • create a digital curriculum, accessible online, for teaching art techniques and skills and regional Ozarks history to students of all ages
  • publish the second manuscript and accompanying art created by L.L. Broadfoot, the “Stoney of the Wildwoods” series.


All donations made to a nonprofit with 503c status, such as the Harlin Museum, are tax-deductible.