Connor Barwin Named PSWA Humanitarian
Former Eagles defensive standout Connor Barwin, recently retired from the NFL, has stood out from the pack since his 2013 arrival in Philadelphia. We mean ways other than sacking quarterbacks or picking off passes. As the founder and president of the Make the World Better Foundation, Barwin has been a leader, starting three public park revitalization projects and working closely with staff, community groups, city agencies, other nonprofits, and the business community to plan and implement each project. For those efforts and much more, Connor Barwin has been named the PSWA Humanitarian of the Year and will accept his honor at the 116th Annual Philadelphia Sports Writers Association Banquet on Monday January 20th, 2020, at the Crowne Plaza Cherry Hill. Barwin will join previously announced honorees Jay Wright of the Villanova Wildcats, this year being honored with the association’s Good Guy Award, and the Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues, represented by their coach, former Flyers player and coach Craig Berube. You can be there as well. Tickets are now available here.
Barwin arrived in Philadelphia in 2013 and immediately knew he wanted to make his mark in the community. He founded Make The World Better with a goal of connecting people in their neighborhoods and beyond, as well as inspiring stewardship through public space revitalization projects, giving people of all ages the opportunity to make an impact on their communities.
“I started MTWB because I wanted to build playgrounds and basketball courts,” Barwin is quoted on MTWB’s website. “Then I realized what we really do is connect neighbors which builds stronger communities. A new playground or basketball court is good; inspired and built by the community is better.”
As a football player, Barwin started every game during his four years as an Eagle and led the NFC with 14 ½ sacks in 2014. He was twice selected as the Eagles’ Walter Payton Man of the Year recipient in recognition of his community service efforts. In 2011, he travelled to Nigeria with Amobi Okoye’s foundation on a humanitarian mission to bring medical supplies, textbooks, and American footballs to Nigerian youth. Barwin also travelled to Haiti on numerous occasions to install solar panels on orphanages, schools, and hospitals. This past year he conquered Mount Kilimanjaro with the Eagles’ Chris Long, and former NFL long snapper and Army Green Beret Nate Boyer, alongside veterans to raise awareness about water scarcity. Barwin also played for the Texans, Rams and Giants but he and his wife Laura decided to continue to call Philadelphia home after his retirement.
Many other distinguished honorees will be announced in the next few weeks. Also attending is new Phillies manager Joe Girardi, making one of his first public appearances as skipper of the team. The public is encouraged to come out and have dinner with Girardi and the rest of the PSWA honorees.
The PSWA Awards Dinner is the longest-running event of its kind in the U.S. 2020 marks the 116th annual. For the latest information visit here.