Our Mission 

The mission of The Gift of Swimming is to provide access to drowning prevention resources and education for the community's underprivileged, mentally or physically challenged or otherwise disadvantaged.

"Everyone deserves to enrich their lives through the joy of swimming, and we would like to help make that possible."
-Joy McGinty

All operational, administration and facility expenses are in-kind donations from SouthWest Aquatics. 100% of the funds received directly benefit the disadvantaged who need to learn to swim.

 

Drowning is the #1 cause of accidental death in children ages 0-4.

Drowning is the 2nd leading cause of death in all children.

 

Statistics support the compelling need for this program: 

District 9 Medical Examiner, Dr. Jan Garavaglia reported 15 children have drowned from 4/1/10 through 7/23/10. Drowning is silent. Drowning is preventable.

In 2009, Florida had over an estimated 1.25 million residential swimming pools. 

 

Drowning... It kills 9 people per day in the U.S. and nearly 1 million per year in the world. 
Diversity... African-American children drown at a rate that is 3.2 times higher than that of Caucasian children. 
Fitness... 1 in 3 children in America is overweight, putting them at risk for heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and emotional pain. 

  • Florida leads the nation in the drowning of children under age 5.

  • In 2008, 479 Florida residents drowned and another 380 were hospitalized for non-fatal drowning. For every drowning & non-drowning hopitalization reported there are four incidents that go unreported.

  • The cost of a single near drowning resulting in brain damage can be more than $5.5 million.

  • The total annual national cost of drowning among children under age 5 is approximately $3.5 billion.

 

*data source: Office of Vital Statistics, Florida Department of Health, March, 2009.

 

The Gift of Swimming is the solution to this tragic problem by teaching the vulnerable child to swim-float-swim. Children as young as six months old can be taught to roll onto their back to float and breathe until help arrives. Children as young as ten to eleven months old can be taught to swim, roll to their back to breathe and rest, then flip back over to swim to safety. The Gift of Swimming offers full scholarships to underprivileged children to learn these essential skills. In addition to acquiring valuable survival skills, these children gain self-esteem and self-discipline which will change their lives forever. A certified PediaSwim Instructor can teach a child to save themselves in ten to twenty-five lessons, depending on many factors, including age, previous experience, etc. Every child needs to learn to swim. Every child deserves to learn to swim. Every child deserves to live.