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Matt Braus

Executive Director
Family Hospice

What do you love most about the Metro East?

I have been to a couple of schools and couple of businesses throughout Metro East and I think it’s the small town atmosphere that’s so great. People get to know you and share their information. I always feel like people really want what’s best for the area and are interested in exchanging ideas. I have been impressed with some of the schools around the metro-east and the way they manage their kids, particularly lower income kids, keeping them interested in school, growth and development.

What advice would you give someone moving to the area?

If they have moved here for business reasons, they should join the Greater Belleville Chamber of Commerce. It’s a good way to really know the different businesses and projects. Leadership Belleville is a great program that they should consider to help get them familiar with the area. There are also a lot of residential neighborhoods that are working to keep their neighborhoods doings well. There is a lot of pride in Belleville so joining a neighborhood group would be a great way to meet people.

What are your favorite attractions in the metro east?

There are a lot of great restaurants and I like to go to St. Clair Square. Family Hospice rents a space at St. Clair Square to do our Tree of Memories event where people can buy ornaments in honor of loved ones to be displayed on our tree at the malls. There are a lot of really great healthcare facilities and a lot of great physicians.

What do you think are the metro east’s best assets?

I would have to say Memorial Hospital is one of the jewels in the area and the people. Memorial is trying tor each out to everybody and the people . . . it’s obvious to me that it’s people driven. Its not only memorial hospital but it’s the people at Memorial that make it special.

What do you like to do for fun in the metro east?

I enjoy Grizzly ballgames, the many restaurants and the bike paths are great.

Please list charities to which you lend your time.

We are very supportive of the Specialized Living Center, a non-profit that is a nursing home for severely disabled people. We participate in many charity events throughout the area.

Why do you think it’s important for people to volunteer and what drives you to volunteer?

I really think that improves or adds to the quality of the mission statement: Helps support words in actions. I feel like I want to give and I want to volunteer. Our volunteers actually go out and visit with patients and help them during their time in need, give them an opportunity to socialize. A lot of times these patients are feeling abandoned. Part of our Heartlinks program relies on volunteers, working with area children and teens, people who have lost someone and are struggling with the grief. This gives residents and clients a forum to talk about their loss. If you don’t ever talk about it you bury it and keep it the rest of your life. Talking about it helps people move on.