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By Tom Spalding

They said many hands make light work. In the nonprofit world, the right pair of hands also provides a lift-up.

That’s true of the five people you see pictured, who represent the five Catholic parishes that support the mission of Boulevard Place Food Pantry – and have for the past 12 years. Their tenures range from a decade to a few months. April is Global Volunteer Month, and these board members dedicate their time and expertise to addressing hunger—one of society’s most pressing challenges.

We hope you’ll see yourself in their bios.

We start with Andy Pike, who represents St. Thomas Aquinas, where he’s been a parishioner since 1980. The retired researcher/quality assurance consultant at Eli Lilly and Co. is the longest-serving of our fab five. He served in a variety of volunteer roles back when it was in a basement on the STA church campus. After the move to our current location at 42nd and Boulevard, Andy said he would attend operations meetings “to put my 2 cents in. Somebody said, ‘We ought to have parish representative’ and they said, ‘Andy, would you represent St. Thomas on the board?’ I said sure.” That was about 13 years ago. Fast-forward to today and his role has expanded to also serving as energy czar, which included money-saving moves ranging from motion-trigger lights to rooftop solar panels.

Andy, who is married to spouse Sharon, a retired STA science teacher, spends as much time as he can has four kids and 7 grandkids, and future generations are on his mind when talking about sustainability when it comes to the Pantry’s mission of emergency food relief.

Advice for why people should contribute their time, talent or treasure: “We’ve got to take care of the vulnerable; it’s a strict part of Catholic social teaching … and I don’t see hunger going away; so, you keep serving until they stop lining up.”

Weight of food received and distributed through STA donations at the Pantry in 2023: 5,429 pounds

We welcomed Barbara Hendrickson seven years ago, first as a volunteer and then as a board representative for St. Luke the Evangelist. A talented graphic designer, businesswoman and active volunteer, she is one of the Pantry’s do-anything-and-everything contributors, with no task too small. “I’ve enjoyed getting to know the clients,” she said. “I believe it’s our duty as Catholics to take care of the poor.”

Barbara has been married to her husband Bill for 44 years. They have one son and four granddaughters. A professional artist, she started her career at WRTV-TV (Channel 6) and was a freelance graphic designer. After her father’s passing, she became president of Voegele, Inc. These days you’ll find her working part-time at Williams Sonoma. In her spare time, she gives back in many ways at St. Luke, Little Sisters of the Poor.

“It’s part of the second great commandment,” she said. “Love thy neighbor as thyself.”

Weight of food received and distributed through St. Luke donations at the Pantry in 2023: 12,850 pounds

John Peoni officially joined the board in November 2022 as a representative of St. Joan of Arc, succeeding another dedicated SJOA parishioner, Monica Foye. You’ll no doubt recognize John, in his 45th year as a residential real estate broker associate/REALTOR. He ran SJOA Parish’s popular French Market for three years and is still engaged with the popular Autumn festival. He is also treasurer of the parish’s Conference of SVdP. His primary activity since joining the Pantry board has been heading up the meat repacking groups that volunteer coordinator Amy Taylor organizes and schedules two Wednesdays a month. (With that, crews from Boulevard Place give of their time at SVdP’s Pratt-Quigley Pantry on 30th Street; in exchange, we receive extra food for the clients.) John is busy – with his spouse of almost 42 years (Susie), walking the family lab, playing with his grandchild, going to Mass daily and leading prayer activities.

Advice for why people should contribute their time, talent or treasure: “I believe that we are to be present to one another. I believe that we all have strengths and weaknesses. With a strong belief in the Corporal Works of Mercy, through the enlightenment of The Holy Spirit, and the inspiration of Saint Vincent de Paul, the Daughters of Charity, and the tireless work of Blessed Frederic Ozanam, I believe the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul is a catalyst to the poor, the hungry and the homeless. I pray that we have the grace, and the heart, to be Christ to others, we are truly God’s love, advocating for the poor, as true Vincentians.”

Weight of food received and distributed through SJOA donations at the Pantry in 2023: 3,098 pounds.

Joy Fay joined the board in September 2023. The representative of Immaculate Heart of Mary has a caring personality — no doubt stemming from her many years in healthcare; she is retired from Indiana University Health; her practice centered on cardiovascular nursing leadership and talent acquisition of critical care nurses.

Joy has been volunteering on Thursdays at the Pantry for two years. Joy’s arrival follows a long and distinguished service from Trinda Metzger, who continues to lead IHM’s impressive year-round food drives. In fact, Joy is responsible for stapling the list of needed items on the IHM food bags and then assisting in handing these out following the masses quarterly.

Married 40 years this November to husband Rick, the couple has a son, two grandchildren and a Goldendoodle puppy.

She says she is moved by a personal belief in outreach involvement and providing hope through helping clients “find items of food and providing suggestions on how to prepare healthy tasty meals with their choices.”

Advice for why people should contribute their time, talent or treasure: “The pantry provides a needed service for our community. There is not a volunteer day that passes without a client expressing gratitude stating, “I need this food so desperately.”

Weight of food received and distributed through IHM donations at the Pantry in 2023: 22,175 pounds

Lisa Wilson started as a volunteer at the Pantry in the summer of 2020 during the height of the COVID pandemic (and, simultaneously, our renovation/expansion). She was a substitute and regular Saturday worker with the occasional Friday shift plus was part of the crew attending the Broad Ripple Farmers Market.

Lisa joined the board in November 2023, succeeding Mike Saunders as the representative from Christ the King Parish. (CTK also provides us with our board chairperson, Phyllis McNamara, who we profiled last year!)

Lisa and her spouse, Brook, both work in publishing (Lisa is a publisher/sales representative) with two grown children and a 1-1/2-year-old French bulldog named Reggie. “Our mission to be more holy is what resonates with me,” Lisa said. “Of course, helping others is a primary driver, too, but selfishly I love how the work at the Pantry changes my heart. I’m reminded that we’re all just temporary inhabitants of this planet, and why not make it as kind and generous a planet as possible.”

Lisa’s favorite time has been blessed by the clients. “Even in their struggles, they have love in their hearts and show a deep sense of gratitude for what we and the Pantry do for them.”

Advice for why people should contribute their time, talent or treasure: “Because you will always, always leave a better person than when you arrived.”

Weight of food received and distributed through CTK donations at the Pantry in 2023: 9,389 pounds