Hazel Brown …  Gary Hufstedler … Albina and Robert Young … Thao Dam … Beatriz Salazar …  David Berryman …  Fernita Swalin … John Bain … Misti Zapata … Mary DeLira …  Grover Posey … 


Do you recognize these names? Probably not. But if I were to ask the same question to hospital patients, refugees, kindergartners or mentally disabled individuals, they could tell me that these are the names of heroes — their heroes, our community’s unsung heroes.


These are just a few of the 200+ individuals and organizations that have been honored since 1981 as Outstanding Volunteers of the Year by the Volunteer Center of Dallas County. Their stories are different, the causes they serve vary, but they are all committed to helping others. Now it is time to begin looking for the next group of outstanding volunteers. The Volunteer Center is currently accepting nominations for the 20th annual Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Awards.


"Dallas is fortunate to be a city of volunteers, a city of people who reach out and help each other," says Julie Thomas, executive director of the Volunteer Center. "These annual awards allow us to publicly recognize grass-roots volunteers whose efforts often go unnoticed."


This year, the Center is looking especially for more nominations in the small business and volunteer coordinator categories. If you know of a business with fewer than 500 employees that is making a difference, or a volunteer coordinator (paid or unpaid) at a Dallas nonprofit who goes above and beyond the call of duty, please let us know.


Nominations also are accepted in eight other categories. All nominees will be recognized and winners announced at the Awards Celebration on April 11, 2000. Last year, more than 200 volunteers were honored at the event. Nominations must be received by the Volunteer Center no later than 5 p.m. on Jan. 21, 2000. Call the Volunteer Center at 214-826-6767 to request a nomination form.


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