Ann Gioe, an Indianapolis native, has been volunteering with The Patachou Foundation for two years. She and her husband of “30 billion years” love trying out new foods (though as the self-proclaimed #1 fan of Cafe Patachou, she’s loyal to the cinnamon toast) and restaurants almost as much as they love helping people through charity work – both locally and abroad. Ann is a real estate agent who, now that her children have all moved out, loves giving her extra time to feed hungry kids in Indianapolis with The Patachou Foundation.
How did you first hear about The Patachou Foundation?
My husband and I are, I’m not going to call us foodies, but we love to eat and we love to try new restaurants. I came across the First Friday on the Farm dinners at Public Greens. And I thought, oh, we’ve never eaten there, and signed us up.
Matthew Feltrop, the executive director, and I spoke and that was actually the first time I’d ever heard about the Foundation. Afterward, I just kind of looked into it and I thought, gosh, that’s easy! So, I signed up. It’s whatever works for you. That was the best part. They’ve got the online portal, you can go to the website and just kind of pick and choose. Love it.
What has made volunteering with The Patachou Foundation so fulfilling for you?
For me, I felt it was important to be consistent as to where I served. So, I’ve tried to always be at IPS 15. It’s the closest to my house. What’s been fascinating is to see the growth of the kids, either their attitudes towards the food or even manners. It’s just been interesting that now they’re being proactive with the manners or wanting to help.
Do you have a favorite memory or story from your time thus far?
My favorite memory is when we set up an assembly line one time– it was myself and I think I had two other volunteers with me. One little girl was helping and she said, “Can I work on the assembly line?” And I said, “Well sure, take my spot!” and I started taking dishes to the table and, my gosh, she just took charge. She was making quality control suggestions, so that was hilarious. That’s what I remember the most. I sent Matthew a message and said, “Hey, I think somebody’s after your job.”
Why did you first choose to start volunteering with The Patachou Foundation?
I was raised in a family where my parents were always very mission service-minded. So it’s always been something I do. My husband and I both do it a lot. We’ve gone with Habitat for Humanity not only locally but also internationally. But then I kind of realized as much as I love this city, I needed to do some more stuff locally. Like I said, we love to eat. The cinnamon toast at Cafe Patachou is my absolute favorite thing. So, we’d heard about it and I thought, well, that just checks off a lot of boxes.
What would you tell people who may be considering volunteering for TPF but aren’t sure? What advice would you give them before volunteering?
Just give it a try, because it’s easy to just step in. I think people hear “volunteering” and they think they’re going to either have an eight-hour day or a four-hour day or that kind of commitment, but it’s just a couple hours each time. I love it. And you get a cool t-shirt!
Want to join our team of volunteers? Apply now.