I recently got the opportunity to volunteer at the Magic House in Kirkwood. My experience has helped me to see the importance of welcoming children and their families and offering my time in service to others.

An orderly work space at the STEAM Center enables children to find supplies for their art. As I cleaned up the scraps of paper, put away pens and pencils, I realized that preparing the area for the next group of visitors helped them feel like they mattered.

During my volunteer training, my supervisor emphasized the importance of being friendly to children and their families. I remembered this while helping at the Magic House. As people walked into my location, I smiled and said: “Welcome to the Magic House.” I believe my outgoing personality helped the kids and the parents feel relaxed and respected.

While volunteering, I remember one moment that stuck out to me the most. It was on a Saturday afternoon, and as I was checking markers for dried ink, a little girl sat at my table and began working. At first, she did not say much, but as I handed her markers, she became more comfortable and started talking to me about her creative piece. As she talked, she used colored paper, markers, glue, and Popsicle sticks. Before long, she handed me her picture and gave it to me! I told her I would hang it on my refrigerator at home. She smiled and gave me a hug. I believe that my time as a volunteer helped to brighten her day.

John Adams