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The Gift of Swimming is an agency of Heart of Florida United Way


The Gift of Swimming Letters

My son just finished up his lessons sponsored by The Gift of Swimming (also for physically handicap children) and I can vouch for the program as being a great cause with huge benefits!! My son didn’t walk independently prior to swimming due to his cerebral palsy but swimming has given him enough strength and confidence to now walk on his own! It is amazing to watch the kids transition and grow from participation in this program.

Angela Wensyel

Hi Kathryn, I hope and trust that you, Ms. Joy and everyone at Southwest Aquatic are doing well. It has taken me a long time to write this note of thanks to really express our appreciation for the time that was spent teaching our 3 children: Demi, Micaela and MJ how to swim. I can only say that your email to notify us of your change of address is very timely.

Through your kind and caring hearts, our children have been shown survival swimming and now they all love the pool and we are so much more confident with them being in the pool knowing that if something happens they would remember what they were taught. We never thought that our precious little Micaela, with all of her physical challenges would be able to accomplish what she has in the short space of time that she was with Ms. Joy. A week ago, the kids were playing around the pool and MJ fell into the pool and it was just amazing how calm we were and how he did exactly what he was suppose to do. Michael and I did not panic at all.

Just the other night as we prayed, our oldest daughter,Demi mentioned Ms, Joy in her prayers. It is so amazing the impact that one person can have on a child that even though she has not seen or spoken to Ms. Joy in such a long time that she still remembers her. Your continuous generosity and your passion to see that all children have the opportunity to learn to swim will always resenate with the Markland family and we will forever be grateful.

Thank you so much for all that you do to make a difference in the lives of children and families like ours.

May God continue to bless you all!

Michael and Debi

Give The Gift of Swimming Stories

We have many children on our wait list. Here are some who need help:

  • Jacob's special need is Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI) & a.k.a. Brittle Bones Disorder. OI makes his bones very fragile. So fragile are his bones that they could break without any fall or physical contact. Jacob is a twin to Kaelyn a healthy little girl. They have both had swim lessons; however, with the medical expenses of surgeries to install stainless steel rods in the femur and tibia of both legs, we ask you to sponsor Jacob. His muscles need more development.

  • Calvin is a triplet. The only one diagnosed with Down syndrome. His father is a firefighter and his mother a PT nurse. They, too, are strapped financially and need help for all their children to learn to swim.

  • Brevon is a friend of Calvin's also with Down syndrome. His parents are very young and his mother also is a PT nurse. He came to see our facility in hopes of a swim scholarship - He is so cute!

  • Asha has cerebral palsy with limited use of her right side. She is a sibling to Joel, who came to us through the Orange County Head Start program. She has been to the pool many times to cheer for her brother. Once she left her walker here "on purpose" so she could come back. She is a little angel on earth. Please sponsor Asha.

  • Joel is 5 and is receiving free lunch from an Orange County Public School. His mother is a struggling single mom and his sister has cerebral palsy.

  • Maevah is 6. Her siblings have received swim lessons from The Gift of Swimming through the Head Start program. She is the only one of 3 siblings unable to swim. Her mother is unable to afford lessons and fears for her daughter’s life. Maevah thinks she can swim. Her mother can not swim and is asking for a sponsorship for her daughter.

  • Jacob is 2. He has been poolside watching as his sister, Emily who attends Maxey Head Start learn to swim. As his dedicated mother wrote on the application, “he loves the water, but I can’t afford the lessons”. Please consider sponsoring Jacob.

  • Adrian is 6. His mother is a single parent making minimum wage with two children. This family struggles to survive everyday. By providing a swim scholarship for Adrian and his sister, they will become safe in the water; more physically fit; and develop confidence of their skills

If you, your company, or your local community group would like to sponser one of these children or more, please donate $375 to The Gift of Swimming for the scholarship.


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