Big Brothers Big Sisters Director celebrates 20 years of service


Posted on August 13, 2009 at 8:12 PM

Updated Monday, Feb 15 at 9:15 AM

(WHAS11) - It's a rare thing for many charitable organizations to keep an executive director around for twenty years.

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The woman who spearheaded a huge turnaround for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kentuckiana is celebrating just that.

Jeri Swinton is also the person who reached out to WHAS11 twenty years ago, asking for help. It started a remarkable run of news stories about volunteer service.

Jeri Swinton is the driving force behind Kentuckiana's Big Brothers Big Sisters organization.

After 20 years, Jeri Swinton has lots of old photos to compare with her staff members, who appreciate her so much.

For Swinton, it's been a remarkable two decades, and the staff couldn't resist throwing her a surprise party to share memories.

Now, they've matched 1900 young people with adults who volunteer their time. And that creates a problem; with 400 kids on the waiting list, they need more adults and more volunteers.

As she looks over the pictures from 20 years, Swinton remembers one of the camping trips she organized. And since she was the only staff person who liked the wild outdoors, she was the only one who went!

And after 20 years of reporting on Big Brothers Big Sisters, helping find matches, here at WHAS11 we can tell you, Jeri Swinton is one class act.

And soon you'll be hearing a lot about the "400 campaign", which is a brand new effort to find adult volunteers for the 400 local children on the waiting list where some have been waiting for years.