By Aileen Gallagher, Director of Community Engagement, The Family Effect
It was 2009. The Clemson Tigers had just gotten a new head football coach, and the Phoenix Center had just gotten a new executive director. The new executive director heard stories of the new coach’s background, so he reached out to this new coach in hopes of working together to help those who were suffering from the harmful effects of substance use.
Enter Dabo Swinney. Dabo knew personally how substance use disorders affect the entire family of the person afflicted and much of the community that surrounds them. Because of his personal experience, Dabo knew he wanted to make a difference one day for other children so they didn’t have to grow up the same way.
Dabo and his wife, Kathleen Swinney, came to visit the Phoenix Center and were impressed with the many prevention and treatment services offered through the eight programs of the Phoenix Center. They were especially taken by Serenity Place, a residential treatment program where mothers and their preschool-aged children (birth through age 6) can receive treatment simultaneously. While the mother works on substance abuse disorder and other trauma, her child works with a therapeutic specialist to get on track developmentally in order to be ready when it’s time to start school.
After their tour, the Swinneys quickly joined the board of The Family Effect, the philanthropic 501(c)3 that supports the Phoenix Center’s programs. Through the years working with The Family Effect, the Swinneys have given their time and resources. They have spent time with the mothers and children at Serenity Place. They have also collected diapers for our infants, supported the building of transitional housing for families, given football tickets for clients to attend games, and much more.
“Addiction in the home was devastating to us all, but our mom was strong and did the best she could,” said Dabo’s brother, Tracy Swinney, after the last Family Effect board meeting. “If we could have had the resources back then that the Family Effect offers, I believe we would have all been better for it. We love The Family Effect and what it stands for. The Swinneys will always be in full support of The Family Effect.”
In total, their All-In Team Foundation has donated $676,640 to support The Family Effect and the Phoenix Center’s programs. Thank you to the Swinneys and the All-In Foundation team for your support! You have made a difference in the community.