91 years old – and she’s still one of StreetWise’s biggest fans

Mozelle Isbell – committed StreetWise fan and former volunteer – celebrated her 90th birthday at StreetWise in 2022 with many of her fellow Friday morning volunteers!

She’s been involved with the nonprofit for around 15 years, and like many others, Mozelle got involved because of the encouragement of friends from church. 

“I didn’t work with the clients; I always worked in the warehouse. When the truck came in from picking up merchandise from the different stores, we separated it: the meat, vegetables, etc. That’s what I always did,” Mozelle said.

“I started volunteering with StreetWise around 2009. We were in a little bitty building just down from where they are now; I don’t know how we survived in there!”

That “little bitty building” was a 8,000-square-foot warehouse, which StreetWise quickly outgrew, leading to the move to its current location on Cedars Road in Lawrenceville.

While other organizations boast amazing volunteer teams, it’s undeniable that the bond between StreetWise’s volunteers – and between the volunteers and StreetWise itself – is something special.

Mozelle is the perfect example of that, retiring only due to the encouragement of her children for her safety after hip surgery last year.

“I’m 91 years old, so I have to be really careful now. But over the years at StreetWise, I really enjoyed it. It was a blessing. It was just like family,” Mozelle said.

“My favorite memories of volunteering were just being with all the people and working together.

“To anyone considering getting involved, I would definitely say volunteering at StreetWise is a wonderful experience and a blessing. It’s helping people and is just a good ministry.”

StreetWise’s Executive Director and CEO Tracy Joseph has similarly kind words to say of Mozelle. 

“Mrs. Mozelle drove herself to StreetWise to volunteer on Fridays, and she set the pace for most around her!” Tracy said. 

“When I asked her if she needed help the first day I met her, she looked at me and said, ‘When I need your help, I’ll ask for it.’ That’s the spunky part – but she’s also so sweet and genteel.” 

“She celebrated her 90th birthday at StreetWise. It fell on a Friday, and she insisted to her daughter, who often joined her as a volunteer, that she MUST be at StreetWise on her Friday shift.”

Even though she might not be lifting boxes of vegetables or sorting through pallets of meat anymore, Mrs. Mozelle is certainly still a member of the “StreetWise fan club” and has her own dreams for its future.

“You just meet wonderful people at StreetWise, and it’s a joy. Even though it’s hard work,” she laughed, “it really is a joy.

“I hope Streetwise has a very good 2024! I’ve seen StreetWise accomplish a lot, and I’m hopeful they can continue year after year and do an even bigger service than what they’re doing now.”