Frankie Fowler a ‘Legend’ for 35 years of volunteering

Written by The SAFE Alliance

Frankie Fowler is a RecognizeGood Legend! Click here to vote for Frankie in the Say Thanks, Austin campaign or text FOWLER to 512.456.9244 to help her receive a $10,000 pay-it-forward donation for SAFE! Check the bottom of this page for more ways to vote.

When you dedicate 35 years of your life to volunteering, people notice. Last Friday, RecognizeGood honored Frankie Fowler with the 62nd Legend award for her longtime commitment to SafePlace and her overwhelming contribution to the Austin community.

Get to know Frankie Fowler

Over the past 35 years, Frankie clocked in more than 26,500 volunteer hours. She started in 1981 at the Center for Battered Women, which in 1998 joined the Austin Rape Crisis Center to form SafePlace.

At times, the dedication of Frankie and other volunteers meant taking overnight shifts and sleeping at the shelter to ensure survivors’ needs were met. Frankie spent countless hours answering hotline calls; dedicated 12 years as a volunteer in the Expect Respect program where she taught young people about safe and healthy dating relationships; and she has most recently committed herself to the SAFE Community Education team as an agent of social change.

SAFE Vice President Melinda Cantu, who serves as Executive Director of SafePlace, said Frankie’s faith is a defining characteristic.

“I remember all the many Thanksgivings she shared with our shelter clients,” Melinda said. “When so many others were with their own families, Frankie took time to be with those who could not be with theirs due to their safety. She helped us all give thanks for what we had and showed the possibility of a future filled with love and happiness.”

At Friday’s RecognizeGood ceremony, SAFE Volunteer Services Director Christine Langa described Frankie as a “dynamic speaker” with a “presence that captures audiences, no matter their age.”

“Earlier this year, I received a call from a local church who remembered Frankie as a speaker at their church last year,” Langa said. “They requested her specifically to return and present this year because she left such an impression on their congregation.”

In 2006, SafePlace created the Frankie Fowler Volunteer of the Year Award to recognize SafePlace volunteers who reflect Frankie’s outstanding service and motivation to help address and prevent abuse.

Frankie also serves with her church, Texas Mass Choir, and the local chapter of the Gospel Music Workshop of America. In all she does, Frankie teaches that love is about equality and respect.

Earlier this year, SafePlace presented Frankie with the Longevity of Service Award. At the ceremony, Frankie said self-care is vital in finding the strength to continue giving.

“I don’t know if I have 35 more years,” she said, “but what I do have, I pledge I will give.”

About the ‘Frankie Award’

The Frankie Fowler Volunteer of the Year Award is presented annually to recognize a volunteer who embodies the dedication and commitment it takes to work toward bringing an end to sexual and domestic violence. Each April, celebrating National Volunteer Week, SafePlace presents this award to a deserving volunteer who has been nominated and voted on by SafePlace staff.

This year’s award went to Larry Justice, who began volunteering at SafePlace in 2014. In just one year, he volunteered over 650 hours in the Charter School and Child Development Center kitchen.

About RecognizeGood

RecognizeGood is a local nonprofit that provides a means for individuals, businesses, and other nonprofits to illuminate selfless volunteers, charitable acts, and community service throughout the greater Austin area.

The RecognizeGood Legend award was created to shine a light on people doing extraordinary things in their ordinary lives for our community. Criteria for the award include longevity, volume, and impact of service. The goal of each ‘illumination’ is not only to raise awareness of the selfless good happening in Central Texas every day, but to inspire our community to actively participate in it.

In addition to honoring Frankie, RecognizeGood presented a $1,000 “pay-it-forward” donation to SafePlace in Frankie’s name. Recipients of the RecognizeGood Legend award become eligible for a pay-it-forward donation of up to $10,000 by participating in the Say Thanks, Austin campaign.

The stories of each award recipient are told to the community both online and offline, and during the month of January, supporters say thanks by voting for a Legend whose story touches them.

The Say Thanks, Austin campaign offers everyone, everywhere the opportunity to say “thank you” to a group of remarkable individuals who contribute their time and talents to our community. Through Jan. 30, anyone in the world can say thanks to 2016’s RecognizeGood Legend award winners by casting as many as six votes each day (one vote per day by each voting methods). To vote for Frankie, you can:

  • Text FOWLER to 512.456.9244
  • Message FOWLER to the RecognizeGood Facebook fan page at
  • Tweet FOWLER to @RecognizeGood with the hashtag #saythanksaustin
  • Email FOWLER (in the subject line) to
  • Write in your name, sign, and date where indicated on Say Thanks forms downloadable at
  • Vote on Frankie’s page on