St. Cloud Hospital Gift Gallery - Paul Decker

Over the past year, I volunteered at the St. Cloud Hospital Gift Gallery. I wasn’t really quite sure if I was going to like it there because it’s the place where people have surgeries, draw blood, and have all sorts of medical procedures. I was definitely wrong. When I walked into the gift gallery, I was shown kindness and acceptance that made me feel welcomed. I never would have expected that from a group of strangers. I was able to work the cash register and have friendly conversations with people who walked in. I don’t think I’ve meet any volunteers there who were not friendly. They all had a smile on their face and were ready to help anyone in need at the hospital. It has been such a wonderful opportunity. I work with a great group of people and have fun every time I volunteer there. 

While I was volunteering at the hospital, I became a better person. Not as quick as a snap of a finger, but slowly and surely it changed my life. I learned that when you give kindness you receive kindness back. Welcoming others into the gift gallery and saying have a nice evening when they leave really makes someone’s day. I learned to ask questions more often and not be scared to ask what you’re wondering about.  I have gotten to know many other people by having a simple conversation with them. It is even better when they’re kind to you and you both want to learn about each other. There are also the small things that make you a better person like working hard and taking on responsibilities when you walk in to volunteer. I learned a lot when I volunteered at the St. Cloud Hospital Gift Gallery. 

In the end, I believe this experience has helped me become the person I am today and also has given me hope to grow in the future as well. I learned how to be friendly to people who I had never met before. I learned to be truthful and trustworthy. These characteristics reflect who I am, prepared me for future jobs, and gave me a new comfort level in talking to others. Volunteering at the gift gallery taught me that’s not the only place to volunteer. It encourages me to get involved in the community and help others without getting anything in return. Overall, volunteering at the St. Cloud Hospital Gift Gallery has been an unforgettable experience thus far. To this day I still look forward to the times that I volunteer when I know I will make new friends, hear new stories, and make new memories. 

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