- Swimming Saves Lives
Research shows that adults aspire to swim more than any other fitness activity, yet, according to the Centers for Disease Control, 37% of American adults cannot swim the length of a pool. Every day, about 10 people die from drowning. The majority of unintentional drowning victims are adults. Drowning ranks fifth among the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the United States. The CDC identifies a variety of factors that can influence drowning risk, including the lack of swimming ability. Research also shows that the children of adults who don’t know how to swim are at a greater risk of not learning to swim, which increases their risk of drowning.
Adult drowning is a problem we can solve—teaching adults to swim is the central cause of the Swimming Saves Lives Foundation, the charitable arm of USMS. The SSL Foundation does not operate adult learn-to-swim programs, rather, we solicit contributions and provide grants to programs that do. Since its formation in 2012 and through the generous contributions of USMS members and other supporters, SSLF has awarded more than $65,000 in grants to programs that are providing adult learn-to-swim opportunities. Programs that have received grants include:
- Blue Wave Aquatics, Federal Way, Wash.
- Chatham County Aquatic Center, Savannah, Ga.
- Fort Worth Drowning Prevention Coalition, Fort Worth, Texas
- Friends of the Pool, Islamorada, Fla.
- YMCA of Greater Kansas City, Kansas City, Kan.
- Richmond Swims, Richmond, Calif.
- Sarasota Tsunami Masters, Sarasota, Fla.
- Simon’s Rock PaceMakers Masters, Great Barrington, Mass.
- Upper Valley Aquatic Center, White River Junction, Vt.
- Walnut Creek Masters, Walnut Creek, Calif.
- Cannon Memorial YMCA, Kannapolis, N.C.
- YMCA Central Virginia, Lynchburg, Va.
- The Advancement Foundation, Vinton, Va.
- Swim With Heart, Santa Monica, Calif.
- 21st Century Swimming, Sarasota, Fla.
For more information, read the complete Swimming Saves Lives Foundation strategic plan. The next grant application cycle will open March 3, 2014 and close May 30, 2014. Please email Claudia Woods if you would like an application sent to you when the cycle opens.
USMS also accepts planned giving and bequests. If you’d like to discuss opportunities to contribute to the USMS Swimming Saves Lives Foundation, please contact Rob Butcher at 941-556-6270 or via email. You can also make an online donation. Please read our gift acceptance policy.
U.S. Masters Swimming is registered as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Contributions to the USMS Swimming Saves Lives Foundation are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. U.S. Masters Swimming’s tax identification number is 31-0999051. A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE (800-435-7352) WITHIN THE STATE. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE. USMS’s Florida registration number is CH33301. You can find out more about us on guidestar.org under United States Masters Swimming, Inc.