‘When a person sees me coming they ought to smile’ — Pray is Volunteer of the Week

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Gloria Pray has been volunteering at King’s Daughters Medical Center for just a couple of weeks, but she quickly fell in love with it.

“I’m very passionate and in order to love what you do you have to be passionate about it,” the Bogue Chitto native said. “I’m passionate about people, especially elderly people who are not in the best health. If I’m available and my hands are available, I’ll do what I can to help them along their journey.”

Pray, 63, was a surgical tech for many years, a certified nursing assistant and a home health worker. After working for a while in a local non-profit thrift store, Pray said she wanted to get back to helping in healthcare. So she talked with KDMC’s Alicia Hawkins.

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“She’s the woman who is over volunteering, and her spirit draws individuals,” Pray said. “She is the person God has chosen to put in this position. She lets God tell her where people are needed. She cares for people and her profession. She’s outstanding.”

Pray walks with patients who are getting infusions, taking them where they need to be. She takes gifts to patients, and “anything that needs to be done.”

“I’m a server, so I enjoy doing it,” she said. “That’s the most precious thing you can ever do — give your time to someone else and don’t look for anything in return. Look for ways to serve. When you volunteer your time, your strength, your health with anyone who is unhealthy, and they need help and you’re available, just be grateful because God has got this.”

A close relationship with God is the most important thing for the aptly-named Pray.

“I don’t do anything without the Lord’s consent. I’m a peaceful, lovable person and I go in with that. I know whose I am and who I am. I take that with me and I share that with others. I am spiritual and I enjoy life,” she said. “I go to church. I sing in the choir. I love the Lord and I love Gloria. You have to treat a person the way you want to be treated.”

Volunteering does not take a special formula, only a willingness to help someone else and to be kind, Pray said.

“Just go help somebody. Sometimes a smile will save a life. A kind word can mean so much, just being kind and honest,” Pray said. “None of us is perfect, but we can help.”

“When a person sees me coming they ought to smile,” she said. “I have a beautiful smile, but I didn’t put it there. God did.”