Social media – time to make a difference

This week and over the coming months the voiceover community is pulling together to help the family of our good voiceover friend Andrew Swingler. This is a call to action, and direct evidence of the ability of our community to make a direct difference not just in encouraging eachother in our professional lives, or finding work opportunities, but pulling together in times of sadness.

Like me, Andrew is an expat British voice artist. He’s based in Orange County, California, and is the father of two daughters. Seven months ago his wife Sandra Swingler was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. Sadly she lost this battle last week.

News initially came from Andrew:

At 2:45am on Wednesday June 27th 2012 Sandra Swingler said goodbye to this mortal world and joined her parents in the next life.

Sandra has struggled without a single complaint for almost 7 months against a cancer so rare that less than 100 cases have ever been recorded.

An incredible Mother, wife and sister, she will be missed by everyone who met her.

Sandra Swingler and the girls

Sandra Swingler and the girls

Most of my contact with Andrew has been via Facebook, Twitter, and the Voiceover Universe (PTU) forum, and yet I feel that we are in a very real way neighbours. I am grateful that he gave the opportunity to support him, his wife, and family through these channels, including regular updates on the Facebook page “Sandra Swingler’s Status”. Moreover, I am proud to call him a friend. He has become a shining example of how to maintain a positive public outlook throughout what must have been a period in which he was experiencing emotions I shudder to imagine.

Although I never met Sandra, from all that I have heard and read of her, she was obviously an incredible woman, too. Her memory will surely live on as a light to the family.

In memory of Sandra Swingler, two opportunities to support the family have sprung out from our community, and I urge you to support these both financially, and by spreading the word (please tweet, post, share wherever you can!)

Since one of these is time limited (and urgent action required I’ll mention this first)…

Bid for my 50,000th tweet and help a special family

“Bid for my 50,000th tweet and help a special family.” is the message shared by British voice artist, Natalie Cooper (@voiceovergirl). Certainly she’s been busy twittering away (I’d recommend following her anyway!). Based in Wiltshire, England just a stone’s throw from Stonehenge, Natalie has seen the opportunity provided by her social network of choice, and is auctioning her 50,000th tweet!

Natalie writes:

I met Andrew last year, and we had a proper natter about voiceover, tea, proper chocolate, and kids. All the important stuff He’s great fun, and I’ve no doubt a wonderful Dad.

It could so easily be any one of us.

Launched yesterday evening (Monday) and set to expire in just a few days, head on over to eBay to join the auction here:

Auction expires:

07 Jul, 2012 – 22:02:29 BST

London (UK) Saturday, 7 July 2012, 22:00:00 BST UTC+1 hour

New York (USA) Saturday, 7 July 2012, 17:00:00 EDT UTC-4 hours

Los Angeles (USA) Saturday, 7 July 2012, 14:00:00 PDT UTC-7 hours

Corresponding UTC (GMT) Saturday, 7 July 2012, 21:00:00

The auction is in pounds, but don’t let that discourage you… since eBay uses PayPal, conversion to UD Dollars is very easy, but if you want a reference, you can do that here

Want to make a direct donation rather than join the auction? No problem! Read on…

In Memoriam: Sandra Swingler Fundraising Drive

Based in Orange County, Andrew Swingler is one of the Orange County VO Peeps – of which I’m honoured to be an honorary international member.

Anne Ganguzza writes:

In loving memory of my dear friend Sandra Swingler, I am conducting a Fundraising drive for Andrew Swingler and his family through my VO Peeps Scholarship Fund – 100% of the proceeds to this fund for the next 3 months will go to Andrew and his family. Your contributions are deductible under section 170 of the United States Internal Revenue Code. Please donate if you can. It is very much appreciated! Find out more about the Scholarship fund at:

VO Peeps

The VO Peeps Scholarship fund has already given significant support to voice artists, and will continue to do so. No amount too small or too big!

Donate through the link on the VO Peeps page

Two great ways to support a beautiful family, and pay it forward.

Now’s the time to take action!

Thank you.

More about Andrew & Sandra

Shortly after originally publishing this blog I learned from Derek Chappell that he was also preparing a background blog including a narrative which Andrew had prepared for him as a tribute to Sandra. If you haven’t already seen this, I encourage you to head over and take a look at the article here: A Loving Wife & Mother: A Tragic Loss


50K Tweet Auction Bid for 50,000th Tweet

In Memoriam: Sandra Swingler Fundraising Drive – VO Peeps Scholarship Fund

Andrew Swingler – personal website

Natalie Cooper – personal website

Anne Ganguzza – personal website

Thanks to other bloggers

Derek Chappell – A Loving Wife & Mother: A Tragic Loss

John Florian (VoiceoverXtra) – In Memory Of Sandra Swingler, Two Ways To Support Her Family …

Peter O’Connell – “if there’s anything i can ever do…” – well, now you can

Bob Souer – Make a difference

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