We couldn’t do what we do without the help of our incredible volunteers. We have been recognizing them periodically in our volunteer spotlight! This month we are highlighting Sam Berry. Sam has been involved with a number of different JUF programs throughout the years including our young adult volunteer programs Mensches in Motion and Feed Chicago.
We asked Sam a couple questions about what hasshaped his volunteer experience and life in general.
Who, or what, inspires you?
-My parents taught me to "leave things better than I find them" at an early age. At the time, it applied to cleaning up after myself, but as I've grown I realize that the phrase means so much more. This motto has resonated deeply with me across aspects of my career, giving back to the community, and even my relationships with family and friends. We are all beneficiaries of the compounding effects of past leaders building upon the success and improvements made before their time. I am inspired by the challenge and responsibility to continue "leaving things better than I find them."
Why do you enjoy volunteering?
-Each time I volunteer I learn something new about my community, the people I meet, cooperation, passion, and myself. Taking time to positively impact someone else's life, no matter how big or small, helps keep perspective and balance.
Why is it important to you to volunteer with JUF?
-JUF has an extensive global reach, while also impacting individuals in need around the corner. They are quick in providing relief after an unexpected national disaster, while also thoughtful and thorough in providing a unified voice for the local Jewish community. JUF actively engages a wide-ranging and diverse group of people to collaborate and contribute towards its worthy mission. I am proud to be a part of such a unique organization.
How did you first get involved with TOV/JUF?
-My first touch point with JUF was a coffee chat with a YLD Board Member. After discussing my interests, he recommended I participate in the Mensches in Motion volunteer program. From the very first session, I could tell that JUF/TOV was a special organization with limitless opportunities to get involved and give back.
What drew you to this project/program(s)?
-Both Mensches in Motion and Feed Chicago allow participants to experience an array of JUF agencies and other similarly aligned organizations. In addition to making an impact on the local Chicago community, both programs are excellent opportunities to meet and work alongside a group of passionate, like-minded Jewish leaders.
Any fun facts about yourself that we might not know?
-It has become a recent goal of mine to experience each of America's national parks. So far I've checked off many across Northern California, Washington, and the South East. This Fall I'm looking forward to adventuring through all five parks in Utah. I'm still finalizing details of the trip - so any suggestions are more than welcome!
We want to thank Sam for all of his hard work and dedication to our volunteer programs throughout the years. Your commitment and passion for each program has inspired us. We are very lucky to have a volunteer like you, Sam!