WRIGLEYVILLE — Caitlin Swieca wasn't the only Chicago Cubs fan with a knotted-up stomach as Aroldis Chapman took the pitching mound Wednesday.
"Feeling a pit in my stomach as the Cubs win a game is a new feeling," she tweeted. "I really don't know how I'm supposed to feel about the organization anymore. Wow."
So she did something about it.
Ariel Cheung talks about emotions fans have with the Cubs trade for Aroldis Chapman.
Swieca, 24, was struggling to reconcile herself to Chapman's arrival in Chicago due to his history of domestic violence. The pitcher's behavior during his first Chicago interviews and his decision to not get involved in raising awareness of domestic violence issues didn't help.
"And that kind of connected the dots for me," Swieca said.
The Dunning resident decided to donate herself, pledging on Twitter to give $10 every time Chapman gets a save this season.
So I've decided I'm going to donate $10 to a Chicago domestic violence org every time Chapman gets a save.— Caitlin Swieca (@CaitlinSwieca) July 28, 2016
Chapman got his first save for the Cubs in the team's Thursday victory of the White Sox.
And with it, Swieca pledged her first $10 donation.
Within hours of tweeting Wednesday night, her initial post got hundreds of shares. Dozens of others — at least 50 — promised to also donate, although some tweaked their personal challenges to include strikes or overall wins.
As of Friday, there are 61 Cubs games left before the playoffs.
Swieca has committed to donating during the regular season and entertained others' thoughts on increasing the donations for playoff games. She said she got the idea from similar charity projects like Anthony Rizzo's home run challenge and Bleacher Nation's work with Make-A-Wish.
"I thought of the idea earlier in the day to make myself feel better and turn this crappy situation into something good," Swieca said. "I'm hoping it'll make me feel less guilty."
Julie DiCaro — a sports writer and 670 The Score anchor who has dealt with plenty of harassment herself — recommended some organizations in line with Swieca's mission.
Doing great DV work in Chicago: @DVLCChicago, Family Rescue, Metropolitan Family Services, Lifespan, Legal Assistance Fndtn.— Julie DiCaro (@JulieDiCaro) July 28, 2016
Acting on DiCaro's advice, Swieca selected the Domestic Violence Legal Council of Chicago, which provides free legal services to victims of domestic violence.
The lifelong Cubs fan said she was surprised by the rapid response to her idea, particularly because "I've never really been involved in these types of causes before."
But seeing so many others feel the same has been uplifting, she said.
"It's such a simple idea, and when people saw it, I guess it clicked," she said.
Francisco Rodriguez holds the record for most saves in a season: 62 when he was playing for the Los Angeles Angels in 2008. White Sox pitcher Bobby Thigpen comes in second with 57 saves in 1990.
The Cubbie with the top single-season saves is Randy Myers, who tied for fifth in 1993 with 53. So far this year, Hector Rondon has recorded 18 saves; last year, he got 30.
Swieca has kept tabs on the growing interest in the challenge, offering up suggested hashtags like #pitchin4DV, #saves4DV and #ChapmanChange.
She also provided an updated list on suggested domestic violence charities:
• A New Direction Beverly Morgan Park (Morgan Park)
• Apna Ghar (Uptown)
• Between Friends (Chicago)
• Domestic Violence Legal Clinic (Chicago)
• DOVE (Decatur)
• Family Shelter (DuPage County)
• HEART Women & Girls (Chicago)
• House of the Good Shepherd (Lakeview)
• KAN-WIN (Chicago)
• Family Rescue (Chicago)
• Legal Assistance Foundation (Downtown)
• Life Span (Downtown)
• Metropolitan Family Services (Chicago)
• Sarah's Inn (Oak Park)
• Turning Point of McHenry County (Woodstock)
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