The Issue: Unintentional Youth Drowning
Roughly 10 people die every day from unintentional drowning, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and 20% of those are children aged 14 and younger. Aside from birth defects, drowning is the leading cause of death for children aged 1–4 and the second leading cause of death from unintentional injury for youth aged 1–14. For young children, the pool is the leading place for drowning accidents, due to a lack of supervision and barriers and the fact that swimming is not an instinctual human ability.
The Campaign: Providing Swimming Lessons for Youth
If this Grassroots campaign raises $180, then The Katelyn Foundation can provide six swimming lessons for five students. Each additional $180 raised will fund six swimming lessons for another five students. Mease Countryside Hospital will also match all donations up to $1,000. During swimming lessons, children aged 6 months to 12 years can learn how to float and tread water at local YMCA and recreation-center pools.
All donations will be matched up to a $1,000 total by Mease Countryside Hospital. You can follow the progress of this and other Grassroots campaigns at the Groupon Grassroots website.
The Katelyn Foundation
Sandra Testo-Michaud founded The Katelyn Foundation with her brother to honor the memory of her 2-year-old daughter, who drowned in a swimming-pool accident in 2004. Two years later, the organization began promoting child safety and funding swimming lessons for young children at local YMCA and recreation-center pools to help prevent future drowning accidents. To date, it has funded lessons for nearly 800 youth and aims to provide peace of mind to 400 more families this year. The foundation also sponsors a designated-child-watcher program to increase pool safety and awareness of the potential dangers of unattended swimming.
Sandra has received numerous awards and distinctions for her work, including a proclamation from her mayor for National Drowning Prevention Month and Service Above Self awards from the Trinity and Keystone Rotary Clubs. In the summer of 2010, Sandra became a certified swim instructor; in the fall of 2010, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition installed a pool in her backyard so she could teach swim lessons there. Since then, Sandra has taught more than 60 children to swim for free in her backyard.