During my time in Rochester, I have spent numerous hours at the Good Samaritan Health Clinic in downtown. The Good Samaritan is a free clinic put on by the Salvation Army, offering medical and dental services to those with little to no insurance in Olmsted County. I have volunteered here since I was a Freshman and have found it to be one of the most rewarding experiences I have had here in Rochester. I originally started at the Good Sam as part of my work-study job when UMR began to formulate relationships to sustain student work-study needs. I began doing data entry and would come in at my convenience to enter patient medical records into their digital system. Over the years, I have also worked as a receptionist for the dental clinic and am currently a receptionist for the medical clinic and train new volunteers. The Good Sam is no longer my job and I have been solely a volunteer for the last 2 years but I LOVE it! I have met so many great people that have allowed me shadowing opportunities, experiences working with extremely varied populations and research opportunities with Mayo Medical students. I have created great relationships with the employees and other volunteers there and I will be sad to leave when I move out of Rochester this coming December.
If that list of benefits wasn't enough to convince you to get involved and volunteer, I was also able to attend the Good Samaritan Taste of the Town fundraising event this last Sunday. By being a UMR student, there are many opportunities to attend events within the Rochester community as a representative of UMR. Because the school is growing at such a fast rate, they have started to make this a formal position and students are currently being interviewed for "Chancellor Representative" positions. Fortunately for me, this group of students has not been chosen yet and last Sunday I was asked to attend "Taste of the Town." Many people on campus know about my experiences at the Good Sam so when the Chancellor decided to sponsor a table for UMR at this event, they asked me right away to attend.
Taste of the Town is a night full of delicious food and good conversation. It is held at the International Events Center. All four walls of the huge room are lined with tables from every well known restaurant and catering company in town, all with their best samples of food. It ends up being a free for all, going from table to table, trying to contain yourself with all of the options to try. It didn't take long for everyone from UMR to realize we needed to pace ourselves. It would have been impossible to try everything there, but nothing that I had was at all disappointing either. We had a great time and left slowly because we were all stuffed. It meant a lot to me that I was able to attend this event for the Good Sam but as a representative of UMR, bringing together two aspects of Rochester that I truly value.
Check out the Good Samaritan Health Clinic website to see all they do in Rochester!