What does it mean to be a Christian? Although answers vary, many Christians, including Lakewood’s Patrick Swindale, will mention the importance of spreading God’s love and goodwill through compassion and charity. In addition to the countless acts of kindness individuals share with one another every day, organizations like Catholic Charities also play a pivotal role in communities around the world.
Like most religious charity organizations, Catholic Charities is a non-profit based on faith principles and doing God’s work on earth. It is a national network comprised of thousands of volunteers like Patrick Swindale operating in hundreds of cities in the U.S. It is part of Caritas Internationalis, an international federation of Catholic charity organizations.
“At Catholic Charities we help people, regardless of their faith, who are struggling with poverty and other complex issues,” says the organization website.
Catholic Charities assists in areas including disaster relief, immigrant and refugee services, affordable housing, integrated health, food and nutrition, social enterprise initiatives, advocacy and social policy initiatives, foundational services, and leadership development and Catholic identity, according to the website.
In Washington state, Patrick Swindale notes the organization has hands in a variety of social services endeavors. This includes providing temporary and semi-permanent housing for houseless individuals, food banks and soup kitchens for the hungry, healthcare for those who cannot afford medicine or medical services, and immigrant and refugee relocation and integration assistance.
In addition to his work with Catholic Charities throughout the years, Patrick Swindale is also an Eagle Scout and has participated in the St. John Bosco Youth Group and Knights of Columbus. A dedicated Christian, Patrick Swindale also lectures at his church and cares for his autistic younger sibling while working and going to college. Despite his busy schedule, Patrick Swindale says volunteering does not consume his time, but rather, it adds to his life. Giving selflessly to others, Patrick Swindale said, is a fulfilling experience like no other and the best way to represent and exemplify the Christian faith.
Quoting Corinthians 9:6-8, he said, “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
Since its founding in 1908 by British cavalry officer Lieutenant General Robert S.S. Baden-Powell, author of Scouting for Boys, the Boy Scout movement has been an integral part of young men’s lives, from the United Kingdom to the United States. As anyone familiar with the Scouts knows, it’s much more than a hobby or extracurricular activity. Boy Scouts is, for many, a life-changing experience. From Cub Scouts to Eagle, boys become men as they progress through the ranks, learning, growing, and improving along the way. Patrick Swindale of Lakewood, WA, is a prime example of the Boy Scouts’ positive impact.
Born in 1994 in Tacoma, WA, Patrick Swindale began participating in Boy Scouts while in grade school. In high school, in addition to his involvement in the swim and water polo teams, he achieved Eagle Scout status and served as an assistant scoutmaster. True to the Boyscouts’ commitment to community, he also participated in the St. John Bosco Youth Group and Knights of Columbus and gave his time and energy to school and community goodwill endeavors.
“I carry myself with passion for whatever job I’m committed to, put my all into team efforts and thrive in a team-oriented atmosphere,” Patrick Swindale said.
After high school, while continuing his involvement with Scouts, the burgeoning leader attended Washington State University to earn his undergraduate degree, as well as St. Martin’s University for a semester. During his time at WSU, he was a member of the Exec Board for the fraternity Kappa Sigma and treasurer and vice president for Alpha Phi Sigma, the Criminal Justice honor society. After graduating, he was accepted into the Loeb School for International Business at Maine Maritime Academy for the Masters of Science in International Logistics Management. Patrick Swindale currently maintains a 4.0 grade point average and is on course to graduate in 2021, after which he intends to become a Licensed Custom Broker.
But his academic achievements and community involvement aren’t the only ways in which Patrick Swindale upholds the Scout pledge to do his duty to God and his country, to help other people at all times, and to keep himself “physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.” Since turning 23, he has also been the legal guardian of his younger autistic brother, to ensure generational care. Patrick Swindale also works full time, typically 50 to 60 hours a week, as an engineer at HMS Ferries in Pierce County. After work, five days a week, he takes his brother to the gym and for a mile hike to benefit both siblings mentally and physically.
While these commitments are more than most young men his age take on, Patrick Swindale never slows down. Patrick Swindale also lectures at his church, participates in multiple community programs, and continues to be involved with his old Boy Scout troop, assisting and mentoring the next generation of upstanding American men.