Congrats to our July Volunteer of the Month: Emily Moss! We couldn't do what we do without the help of our incredible volunteers like you.
Emily has been a dedicated volunteer with TOV for the past 4 years. This year Emily became a JUF Uptown Cafe All-Star volunteer. All-Star volunteers have volunteered at least 12 times in the past year and act as extraordinary leaders to the other volunteers. We wanted to get to know Emily a little bit more, so she answered some of our questions.
1. How did you first get involved with TOV/JUF?
A few years ago, I needed to book some volunteer hours as part of a yoga teacher training program I was doing. Someone in our group chose Uptown Cafe and we went as a unit to volunteer. I loved the experience, and especially loved meeting people in my community (I live in Uptown) who I might
not otherwise meet.
2. What makes it important for you to volunteer through TOV?
I think it's important to get outside of my own bubble on a regular basis and meet people with different life experience than mine and hear their stories. What I love about Uptown Cafe is that the nature of the volunteering (serving dinner, sharing a meal, chatting with regulars)
facilitates making actual connections with people on a repeated basis. It's not a one-time stop, and it's not a new group of people every time. By volunteering every month, I get to build a relationship with people in my neighborhood and learn about their families, their jobs, and their histories. I also love
volunteering at a place that clients seem to love. People at Uptown Cafe who come for dinner have told me that they appreciate the welcoming atmosphere, the friendly staff, and the chance to relax and socialize with their friends and neighbors. I learn a lot
from clients at Uptown Cafe, whether it's about their opinions on local politics and issues that I'm not familiar with, or about their experiences emigrating to the U.S.
3. Are there any fun facts about you that we might not know? Feel free to also share a story or experience that has inspired you.
Fun facts: I work for the non-profit Girls Who Code, which seeks to close the gender gap in the tech industry by teaching thousands of girls to code through afterschool and summer programs! Check out Chicago options for girls 10 to 18 at our website!
We are so lucky to have Emily as part of our TOV family! To learn more about JUF's important work in the community, sign up to volunteer, or make a donation in Emily's honor, please visit