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Nick Swearngin Wins The 2012 Outstanding...
Nick Swearngin Wins The 2012 Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser Award
October 6, 2012
2012 Outstanding Volunteer
Intern Reporter for the Tribune
The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Mid America Chapter has awarded Nick Swearngin, John’s Barber Shop owner, the 2012 Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser Award.
“Winning this award as well as even being nominated is quite humbling, but at the same time I’m so incredibly honored to be named,” Swearngin said. “When you consider all of the people who have helped and continue to help, my role is very small.”
AFP Mid America Chapter’s mission is to support and promote the work of ethical, professional fundraisers who facilitate philanthropy in the Greater Kansas City area.
Swearngin does an annual fundraiser, Bald Eagles, to benefit Hope House.
“Bald Eagles got started when I decided I wanted to shave my head bald and my wife was adamantly opposed to that idea. So I got to thinking one day, ‘How can I pull this off?’” Swearngin said. “I figured if I could somehow turn this into a fundraiser, my wife would get behind it. She had always been a supporter of Hope House so I approached them with the idea and we were off and running. The name had changed a few different times, and then Linda Ahern came up with the Bald Eagles, an absolutely perfect name for people shaving their heads bald and rising or soaring to the occasion to help.”
Hope House services form a safety net of prevention, education and support for more than 10,000 victims of abuse every year.
“As each year has passed and I’ve learned more and more about domestic violence and it’s signs, I can’t even imagine not working with this amazing group of people to help others and educate women about early signs and avenues that are offered as a way out. Without Hope House there would be thousands of women that would have no hope at all,” Swearngin said.
Bald Eagles will be held for the fifth time around St. Patrick’s Day 2013. Swearngin and others including prominent community members grow out their hair, and other people place bids on auction items donated from local businesses. The highest bidder on a certain head being auctioned off gets to shave that particular head.
“I have been amazed with the stories some women have stepped forward to share with me about their life of being abused, many of these women have no idea who I am and I don’t know who they are. I always thank them for sharing their story with me and strongly encourage them to share their story with a local abuse shelter. They may be able to get involved and let other women know that their story is very similar, that it’s not their fault, they’re not alone, they’ve done nothing wrong but there IS a way out,” Swearngin said. “It’s through this type of education process that people learn and pass that knowledge onto others.”
Last year, just over $12,000 was raised by Bald Eagles. That is the largest amount Swearngin’s fundraiser has yet to donate to Hope House.
Swearngin was nominated for the 2012 Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser Award by Nancy DuVall at Hope House for his numerous contributions to the community.
He will be presented with his award at AFP Mid America Chapter’s National Philanthropy Day on Thursday, November 1 at the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial.
“Giving back to a community like Lee’s Summit has always been easy for our family, this community has supported our barbershop (John’s Barbershop) since 1941, so the very least we can do is to give back,” Swearngin said. “But the number one reason I love to give back is because you are never more like Jesus than when you are helping others and that’s what it’s all really about anyway, helping one another.”
Anyone interested in participating in this years Bald Eagles event – whether it be a donation for an auction item, monetary or would like to have their head shaved – can reach Swearngin at 816-524-1711.
VFW Post 6272 and Auxiliary News