UPDATE: Luke Crawford is officially clean shaven! True to his word, our dedicated Mercy Home donor shaved his facial hair after growing it out for 12 years to raise money and awareness for the boys and girls of Mercy Home. Luke’s clever fundraising goal was even exceeded, thanks to so many compassionate donors. It’s because of people like Luke that Mercy Home can continue to do incredible work for youth in need in Chicago.

Looking good, Luke!

It’s been more than a decade since Luke Crawford last pulled out the razor to shave his beard. Lined with streaks of black and gray, it now hangs down to his chest. In the time it took him to grow it, the U.S. elected its first African American president, the world lost music icons David Bowie and Prince, and the Chicago Cubs finally won the World Series.

But on June 15, this impressive run will come to an end and Luke will shear his beard. He’s not just doing it for himself though. He has set a goal to raise at least $5,000 for the children of Mercy Home before the razor touches his face. Better yet, a generous friend of the Home has offered to match all donations up to $10,000 – allowing Luke to double his impact for our kids.

Luke is currently pursuing his MBA at the University of Notre Dame, and one of his classmates is a Mercy Home employee. When the idea of shaving his beard for charity arose, Mercy Home was the perfect fit. As word of Luke’s mission spread, a proud member of the Notre Dame and Mercy Home community decided he would help take things a step further.

Jim Curtin has been a member of Mercy Home’s Board of Regents for nearly 20 years, and his ties to the University of Notre Dame run deep.

“It’s a beautiful ripple from that first youth who arrives – the ripple goes on and on,” Jim said. “Programs like AfterCare are such wonderful products of the home that help the youth in a continued way.”

Luke with Harry's razorsJim earned his professional architecture degree from Notre Dame in 1985, and his wife graduated from the same program a year earlier. Jim’s father, brother, and two daughters all attended Notre Dame, and his father-in-law taught there as well.

When Jim found out a fellow Fighting Irishman had come up with a unique way to support Mercy Home, he jumped right in and agreed to match the donations dollar for dollar.

“I liked that Luke as a Notre Dame graduate is connected to the home,” Jim said. “I like that he is creatively thinking of ways to contribute with actions that are significant in his life.”

Jim certainly knows a thing or two about making contributions to Mercy Home. When he first toured the Home to offer his advice as an architect, Jim suggested creating more of a campus feel with grass, landscape, and clustered buildings. A couple years later, Jim helped bring his vision to fruition and was instrumental in providing the campus atmosphere that exists at Mercy Home today.

But it’s not the buildings that inspire Jim to support the Home and Luke’s efforts; it’s the mission. One of the things he appreciates most is the long-term aspect of our care.

“It’s a beautiful ripple from that first youth who arrives – the ripple goes on and on,” Jim said. “Programs like AfterCare are such wonderful products of the home that help the youth in a continued way.”

And as a member of our Board of Regents, Jim has a unique understanding of what it takes for Mercy Home to sustain this mission. It’s because of this perspective that he has such an appreciation for what Luke is doing.

“You don’t want to have money get in the way of caring for youth,” Jim explained.

“Luke’s creative way of taking an institution he’s carried on his chin for 12 years, part of his identity, and being able to shave that off –if I can help that, I feel like I’m helping the next generation of people who are out there trying to raise funds for the youth.”

A special shout out to Harry’s, Inc. for donating razors tough enough for the job!

You can help Luke reach his goal by clicking the button below, and thanks to the generosity of Jim Curtin, every dollar you donate will be doubled.

1 reply
  1. Jake Beck says:

    Luke and Joe Wronka are classmates of mine at Notre Dame. Cannot speak more highly of both of them and appreciate their dedication to a worthy cause. Excited to help contribute and encourage those that found inspiration from this post to do the same. Let’s get to $5,000!!!

    Reply

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1 reply
  1. Jake Beck says:

    Luke and Joe Wronka are classmates of mine at Notre Dame. Cannot speak more highly of both of them and appreciate their dedication to a worthy cause. Excited to help contribute and encourage those that found inspiration from this post to do the same. Let’s get to $5,000!!!

    Reply

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