Oakland Cemetery relies on the incredible energy, dedication, and generosity of over two hundred volunteers. Working in the gardens, giving tours, staffing the Visitor Center, or giving countless hours at special and private events, Oakland volunteers never fail to amaze with their passion and commitment. We’ve asked some of Oakland’s volunteers to share their stories of how they became involved as Oakland volunteers and their experiences here.
Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Kristina Wayne. I was born and raised in the Atlanta suburbs and moved downtown a few years ago for college. I’m in my 4th year at Georgia Tech studying mechanical engineering.
How did you get involved in volunteering at Oakland?
I first came to Oakland for a school project in 8th grade. My mother suggested the place as the topic of my Georgia studies project because she had recently been for her photography class. Many years later (eight, to be exact) I was visiting with a friend and enthusiastically telling him all the information I remember. He is the one who suggested I become a tour guide. I asked about it at the Visitors Center, did the training, and here I am.
Why do you volunteer at Oakland?
The obvious reason is because I enjoy it. But another reason is because it is nice to have a place to go to get away from campus and a community where I get to interact with a whole different mindset of people. Many volunteers are much older than I am, and the topics of discussion are of history and society versus the math and science that dominate my daily life.
What do you do at Oakland?
I give the weekend tours and sometimes school tours as well as work in the Visitors Center. However, my favorite thing to do is work the special events throughout the year because each event is so different, and energy is always high as everyone is excited and having fun.
What is your favorite Oakland experience/memory/moment?
I really enjoyed looking for a costume for the Capturing the Spirit of Oakland event. I was excited to dress up for the era, and searching through all the costumes the foundation has accumulated over the years was fun. When we finally settled on a dress, I really liked it. It is something I would never have had a chance to wear otherwise. The hoop skirt was a lot of fun to swoosh around in all night.
If you would like to volunteer Historic Oakland Cemetery, please email Director of Programming and Volunteers Richard Harker at firstname.lastname@example.org.