New Father Swisher Donates $25K to Help Missing Children
Steve Eby | On 01, Jun 2013
New Cleveland Indian Nick Swisher has only been a father for a week and a half, but he is already making life for his new daughter and thousands of other children safer and better.
Prior to the Indians 7-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds at Progressive Field on Thursday, Swisher donated $25,000 to the FBI Citizens Academy Foundation in support of the FBI’s Child ID Kit program.
“For all of us on the Swisher side of things,” Swisher said, “we’re happy to be a part of it…it makes you feel kind of good helping out a lot of people.”
The lot of people should cover close to 15,000 according to Steve Williger, the chairman of the board of the FBI Citizens Academy Foundation.
“That works for me, bro,” Swisher said with a giant grin.
Swisher and his wife, actress JoAnna Garcia, gave birth to their first child, daughter Emerson Jay, on May 21 in Cleveland. Emme, as the Swisher’s have called her, has brought even more smiles to her already jubilant father’s face.
“She’s doing great. She’s awesome. I’m so happy,” Swisher said. “It’s the greatest thing ever. It’s the life altering experience that I was waiting for.”
Swisher picked the perfect time to donate, as the city of Cleveland has been in the news recently with the rescues of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight making headlines nationally.
“It means a lot,” Swisher added, “especially with the things that have happened in Boston and the things that have happened in Cleveland. It seems like there’s not enough good going on in the world right now. This is one of those things that is good and can help. We like to give back, because we know everything that has been given to us and it’s the right thing to do.”
Swisher, the former Ohio State Buckeye, is playing in the first year of a four-year, $56 million contract that he signed with the Tribe this past offseason. For the season, Swisher has batted cleanup and played mostly first base with a few games scattered in right field and DH as well. From the beginning, Swisher promised to try and make a difference.
“I think it kind of starts with that commercial that we did in Spring Training,” Swisher said. “I wasn’t just going to come here to be a part of the team—I was going to be a part of the community and get involved—and that’s exactly what we’re doing. My wife and I are very charitable people. We know the pedestals that we’re on and we know what we can do to try and help. When this opportunity came, especially on the heels of what has happened in our own backyard with those three girls, it was kind of a no-brainer. To be able to do this, especially with the technology being taken to the next level to protect our children—and especially now that I have one of my own—I could not have been more honored and more happy to be a part of this.”
Garcia, best known for her role as Cheyenne Hart Montgomery on The CW sitcom Reba, is doing well but has yet to bring her family’s newest addition to the ballpark to see Daddy play.
“It’s a little early for that,” Swisher laughed. “Whenever the time is right…whenever we’re feeling good (she’ll come).”
The FBI presented Swisher with a few gifts including a pink Indians jersey with the name Swisher and the number 33 on the back as a token of their appreciation.
“I’ve got to get used to all this pink stuff!” Swisher said with a smile.
Thanks to Swisher and his generous donation, thousands of families across Northeastern Ohio can feel safer and can smile easier as well.
Photo: Associated Press