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Inked for a Cause: Dirk Vermin

Dirk Vermin: Lending a Hand to NSPCA, Heaven Can Wait, and Ink 4 Autism

What is your job?
Father, tattoo artist, business owner, musician, soon to be author, producer and TV Star. etc

What social causes are most important to you?
Anything that helps children and animals or fights cancer!

What charities do you support – and how?
NSPCA, Heaven Can Wait (a no-kill animal shelter), Ink4Autism, and although its not an 'organization', I tattoo breast cancer survivors both with "pink ribbons" and also reconstruct areolas with tattoos to make these women feel whole again. I NEVER charge a cancer survivor, ever. Tattooing is also an amazing way to cover scarring of all types which is important for all of us with self esteem.

Why do you have a passion for these, is there a personal tie?
My mother survived breast cancer twice and is still here, feisty as ever. I have battled skin cancer myself for years, having three tumors removed and lots of other treatments for pre-cancer.

I MC'd a fundraiser art auction years back for Cindy Funkhouser of First Friday fame after she was diagnosed with cancer to offset her medical bills. I was on stage for four hours straight keeping the crowd going and getting their wallets open! Local artists and businesses donated paintings and services for the auction. We raised over $10,000 that night! She's still kickin'!

I love the animal charities for the fact they don't rush kill these poor neglected cats and dogs! A few years back we had a fund raiser for Heaven Can Wait where my artists and I did "paw print" tattoos for pet owners. We raised $4,000 in that one day. My guys donated ALL the money made to the charity. I appear at as many NSPCA events as I'm invited to! Great organization doing great work. Visibility counts! The least I can do is offer my "celebrity" status to spread the word! Ink4Autism is a great organization for autism awareness and support through tattooing.

Is there a particular way you would want to encourage readers to be involved?
There are so many organizations that need help and support. Find the one or more you're passionate about? And help. If you can't help financially give your time. And so much is about awareness? Blast social media, tell a friend and make a difference!

How would you define social responsibility?
If you are in a better position than your neighbor? Do something about it! Take care of those of us, man and animal not as fortunate! We are not all strong at the same time. Someday that might be you who needs a hand... Karma is real!