Blog

Ai Indianapolis Culinary Students Volunteer in Hurricane Hit Areas

By: Abby Shaffer Filed under: Culinary

October 10, 2017

The hurricanes were over a thousand miles away from Indianapolis, but the hurt, pain and loss covered our nation. Even at The Art Institute of Indianapolis, students felt a calling to help out. Two of our students heeded that calling—Jordan Purdue, Culinary Management BS, and Jaycie Madden, Baking and Pastry AS. One went to the U.S. Virgin Islands and the other volunteered in Sarasota, Florida.

Jordan Purdue, Culinary Management BS

Culinary student Jordan Purdue is a military veteran who volunteered on St. Thomas. During his active duty, he frequently volunteered and lately missed serving. After receiving the okay from his wife, he called the Red Cross. They quickly sent him to St. Thomas. On the Island, Purdue assisted a shelter there with registration and distribution of goods, as well as just talking to people.

Jordan Purdue in St. Thomas after Hurricane Irma

Purdue and his wife visited the island a few years ago and the destruction from Hurricane Irma was surprising. The paradise he remembers was no longer there. He left before the second hurricane hit. “I have no idea how it could handle more,” he said, “But I will say the best thing was seeing everyone come together helping each other and working together.” 

Jaycie Madden, Baking & Pastry, AS

Baking & Pastry Student Jaycie Madden grew up volunteering through her family. Her grandparents serve over 400 homeless meals every Tuesday and her Aunt has volunteered with Storm Services. Her Aunt owns a food trailer and was contacted by storm services to put a team together. Before the first storm hit, Madden was on the road to Florida with her grandfather and boyfriend.  

Photos of Florida after Hurricane Irma

Once they got to Sarasota, which was a feat finding enough gas for their truck, there was no rest. They set up their work tents in a parking lot full of semis and service trucks. Their job was to feed and maintain the camp for all the workers. Hundreds would come through for breakfast and dinner. “It was great to see how appreciative everyone was, because they usually didn’t get food like what we were preparing,” said Madden. “And had I not been in culinary school, I don’t think I would have appreciated and got as much out of the experience. There were lots of challenges, like trying to cut 30 equal pieces of cake out of a regular 8-inch cake. It was an eye-opening experience that I am thankful for.”

Several other Ai Indianapolis students voiced the desire to help in some way with those still in the areas hit hardest by the hurricanes. Ai Indianapolis Peer Mentors will be heading up a food drive during the month of October. The food will then be brought to the Midwest Food Bank in Indianapolis and shipped to Florida and Texas. Look for collection boxes throughout the school.


Learn more about our programs.

Get Brochure

By: Abby Shaffer Filed under: Culinary

October 10, 2017

community Community Service