We are pleased to introduce Tao Andrus, Project Angel Heart’s new client services assistant. We caught up with him to learn more about his background and how he became interested in working at Project Angel Heart.
Q: How long have you been with Project Angel Heart and how has your role evolved since you first started?
A: I started working full-time at Project Angel Heart in February 2022 but have been volunteering since the 90s when I was a little kid. I am now the bilingual client services assistant. I do all the Spanish-speaking client intakes, as well as any Spanish translating that we need. Since starting as a staff member, I’ve learned a lot. Besides my day-to-day tasks, I have also been working on some research projects.
Q: What have been some of your biggest challenges and/or lessons within your new role?
A: The learning curve was somewhat steep when I started, learning all the processes and inner workings of my department and the agency. Previously, I’ve been self-employed. This is my first job of this nature, and, admittedly, it has taken some getting used to. I’ve learned that it’s okay to lean on my team, to ask questions (even silly ones), and to be more patient with myself. I love my team and the organization’s leadership, and am grateful every day for their patience, support, and candidness.
Q: What do you like most about working at Project Angel Heart and with the client services team?
A: For years, I volunteered with my family in the kitchen and distribution, and mostly, making meal deliveries. It’s nice to see and work on the other side of the operation, and to be able to get clients enrolled in our program. I really feel like I’m doing good for my community every single day, and that all my tasks ultimately help achieve a goal that I wholeheartedly believe in. All the clients are so grateful and appreciative of our meals. It’s very fulfilling to hear how much of a difference Project Angel Heart is making in people’s lives. Plus, my department (and the whole agency!) is filled with beautiful, hilarious, caring people who make coming to work every day something I genuinely look forward to.
Q: If you had 24 hours to do whatever you want, what would you do?
A: I’d take the first flight to Panama and drive out to my hometown on the coast. I’d grab a green coconut to sip on and surf into the sunset.
Q: What’s your favorite meal?
A: The national dish of Burma/Myanmar, “mohinga,” is a fermented fish paste soup with rice noodles, traditionally eaten for breakfast. And it’s my favorite thing to eat on the planet! You can even find it here in Denver. Check out Taw Win Burma on Yosemite and Eleventh.
Q: What is something unique that you’d like volunteers to know about you?
A: I own a microbrewery in Medellin, Colombia. It’s called Son Del Barril, and I’m super-proud of it!