Katie Bratcher and Lisa Matthews are two neighborhood volunteers who not only contribute, they create. They were recognized recently as 1994 Outstanding Volunteers of the Year for implementing innovative programs that directly impact their community.

They were selected from 240 nominees and were honored at a luncheon organized by the Volunteer Center of Dallas County.

Bratcher isn’t just a volunteer coordinator, she is a volunteer volunteer coordinator. She designed a family support program for the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of Baylor University Medical Center. The volunteers comfort family members in the ICU waiting room and provide information about patients.

Since the program began in 1991, 19 volunteers have contributed more than 4,500 hours. Bratcher interviews, places, trains and supports the volunteers. She has given more than 700 hours in the ICU program and has volunteered more than 17,500 hours at Baylor during the past 10 years.

“She not only is a program builder for the many, but a caring, kind heart for each individual she meets,” says Jannae Tunnell, volunteer coordinator at Baylor University Medical Center.

Matthews has served as president and co-founder of Kid Net Foundation since 1991, contributing about 150 hours monthly. She raises funds, writes grant requests, runs daily operations and recruits board members and volunteers.

In between all this, she coordinated the $400,000 renovation project for Jonathan’s Place, the first residential center in Texas to provide 24-hour transitional housing and care to drug-addicted babies. While at Jonathan’s Place, the children’s mothers participate in a residential drug treatment program.

In addition to a full-time job at a local computer firm, Matthews is a single parent of two, and has taken 10 drug-exposed infants and small children into her home while awaiting completion of Jonathan’s Place.

“I don’t know of an individual who has risked so much and given so much of themselves, in such a consistent manner, for another human being,” says Phillip Matteis, chairman and co-founder of Kid Net Foundation.

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