Community special events volunteers help serve dinner to hundreds of guests at our event honoring the hundredth anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad.

We offer three different types of volunteer opportunities

Museum Docents

Our museum docents typically work 1-2 days a week for 1-2, 2-hour shifts. Museum docents essentially run the museum and are the public face of the museum during open hours. Docents answer the phone, field questions from the public, manage the guest book and visitor tracking mechanisms. We are working on a docent handbook, and we offer a special training session to all docents.

Special Event Volunteers

Special Events Volunteers work at special events in the museum and represent the museum at community events. Examples of special events where we have needed this type of volunteer are: visits from the Quinlan Preschool (the kids have a special story time and do crafts), Bay Area Diwali Festival (museum open house and crafts for kids), the Quinlan Center Tree Lighting, etc. These positions typically don’t require special training and are not weekly commitments.
Our traveling trunk program is a wonderful program that allows museum docents to go into local elementary schools to offer hands-on history programs for local children. Traveling Trunk Docents have more extensive training and shadowing programs. Typically, they make anywhere from 2-6 presentations a month. The schedule varies greatly.

Docent Gail Hugger showing taxidermy animals to a group from Quinlan Community Center preschool, run by Parks & Recreation, at the Cupertino Museum. Taxidermy animals on loan from Audubon at McClellan Ranch Park and Santa Clara County Parks & Recreation.

Volunteer and Museum Docent Rishik Srivastava greeting visitors at a museum open house during the Bay Area Diwali Festival. 

Traveling Trunk docents Gail Hugger (left) and Carrie Zeidman(right) doing a traveling trunk presentation to a class at Collins Elementary School. 

Volunteer opportunities

Our museum is typically open Wednesday – Friday, 10 am – 4 pm, with exceptions for special events/city festivals. Museum docent shifts are 10 am – noon, noon – 2 pm, and 2 – 4 pm.

Please email Donna Austin to be added to our volunteer email list to receive notifications about upcoming opportunities.

The Cupertino Historical Society + Museum website is created using WordPress Elementor. Our Mellon Scholars Intern from Foothill College is currently modernizing the content of the website. That intern’s term of duty ends in May 2023.

We need another person who will

  • learn the process from the intern (this will include training on Elementor basics if not known,
  • help with adding content to the site making it more modern and useful to the community, and
  • take over full responsibility of content management from the intern in June 2023.

Skills needed are:

  • comfort with using a computer
  • some experience with web design
  • a basic knowledge of how HTML, CSS and JavaScript works, even if not proficient in coding
  • discipline to keep the website updated with all the events happening with the organization

Time commitment would be to:

  • quickly turn e-mails from the Executive Director describing events, exhibits and other news into website content.
  • keep the website formatted properly and cleanly.
  • warn the Executive Director of any problems with the website, hosting service, domain that they cannot handle themselves.

Optional time commitments would be to:

  • attend the organization’s planning committee meeting to find event, exhibit and other information to add to the site in a timely manner. Thus, saving the Executive Director’s valuable time from being spent sending out website update request e-mails.
  • make proposals for additional Cupertino-related historical content to be added to the website.
  • creating content (mainly pictures with captions) directly from events and exhibits of the organization.

Date & Time TBD
Quinlan Community Center

The Cupertino Historical Society + Museum runs quarterly presentations, book signings and oral history panel discussions at the Quinlan Center. The City of Cupertino Parks and Recreation (P&R) Department provides A/V equipment for us to use during the meetings.

We could use someone with audio/visual expertise to help us provide

  • sound enhancement for our speakers,
  • video projection of presentation material, and
  • recording of the event for future online viewing as well as for historical preservation.

Time commitment would be to:

  • attend at least one event planning committee meeting to synchronize efforts.
  • acquire the needed A/V equipment from the P&R Department and check it out prior to the meeting.
  • set up the A/V equipment just before the presentation meeting.
  • operate the equipment during the meeting.
  • tear down the equipment right after the meeting.
  • return the equipment to the P&R Department.
  • provide the event committee with the recordings.

Date & Time TBD
Quinlan Community Center

The Cupertino Historical Society + Museum uses many online publicity and social media tools. However, our community citizens still get some of their information from paper flyers posted on bulletin boards. As a historical society we cannot ignore this still effective last-century publicity technique. We want to be good citizens ourselves, so we want to post flyers in a responsible and neighbor-friendly manner.

Our Publicity Trailblazer will:

  • find appropriate bulletin boards and other locations where we can post flyers for our events.
  • determine what permission, rules, approvals or sponsorships are needed to post at each location.
  • make delivery routes that can be achieved in a two hour volunteer effort.
  • document the routes with instructions and pictures so that a volunteer can successfully post all locations.
  • document a cleanup route that removes all our flyers when they become outdated.
  • maintain relationships with bulletin board owners (such as DeAnza College, supermarkets, library, etc.)

Other volunteers will frequently follow your pioneering flyer posting trails created for the many events we host and sponsor.

Skills required:

  • A persistent but friendly and patient disposition that can endure bureaucracy and disinterest, but still get permission to post.
  • A relationship building personality that can patiently convert approval to post into eventual support and maybe sponsorship.
  • Respect for people’s time, understanding of the difficulties of running a small business.

Date & Time TBD
Quinlan Community Center

The Cupertino Historical Society + Museum needs to inform the community of upcoming events and exhibits. Besides social media, old-fashioned paper flyers are still effective at reaching our audience.

We need a Flyer Route Hiker that will:

  • spend two hours posting flyers on bulletin boards across the City of Cupertino and a bit beyond.
  • follow a predetermined route with specific instructions on how and where to post the flyer.
  • use the route created so that you can achieve the number of posts in the time allotted.
  • remove past flyers and respectfully keep the host bulletin board clean from our past postings.
  • be a friendly responsible ambassador of our organization as you post the flyers.

Date & Time TBD
Quinlan Community Center

The Cupertino Historical Society + Museum holds public events on an approximately quarterly schedule. As we transition back to in-person events we want to maintain an extra pleasant experience for our guest attendees. Most of our events will be at the Quinlan Community Center in Cupertino, where our museum is also located.

We need Ushers that will:

  • Greet attendees and answer any questions.
  • Provide whatever program flyers are available.
  • Take note if lines form at restrooms and direct to second set of restrooms on the other side of the building.
  • Gently point out any (sponsor) displays attendees can see while waiting for the event to start.
  • Assist any elderly or disabled attendees to the appropriate preferential seating.
  • Direct VIPs to our Greenroom.
  • Greenroom ushers setup and maintain the refreshment sideboard and serve VIPs as needed.
  • After the event, assist any elderly or disabled attendees back to their bus or vehicle.
  • After the event, help clean up the meeting hall in better shape than when we receive it from the City.

Time commitment would be to arrive one hour ahead of the start of the presentation and leave about one hour after the end of the presentation.

Visitors vote for their favorite kimono (left) and walk through (above) CHSM’s pop-up exhibit for the 2022 Cherry Blossom Festival at Quinlan Community Center. Volunteers helped make this event possible!


We are a Certifying Organization for the President’s Volunteer Service Awards. Learn more about the President’s Volunteer Service Awards.

In 2003, the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation founded the President’s Volunteer Service Award to recognize the important role of volunteers in America’s strength and national identity. This award honors individuals whose service positively impacts communities in every corner of the nation and inspires those around them to take action, too.

The PVSA has continued under each administration, honoring the volunteers who are using their time and talents to solve some of the toughest challenges facing our nation.

A Certifying Organization is an organization that has been granted authority through an application and review process to give out the President’s Volunteer Service Awards to volunteers. Certifying Organizations verify and certify that a volunteer has met the requirements to receive a PVSA within a 12 month period specified by the Certifying Organization. Only Certifying Organizations can certify volunteers’ eligibility for the PVSA and order awards.