Helping underprivileged children learn how to swim can help save their lives. But many of these kids cannot afford the most basic equipment for their swim lessons.
That’s why Columbia Association (CA) Aquatics is participating in the Goggles for Guppies donation drive. From June 15 through June 29, CA will be accepting donations of new or lightly used swimsuits and swim trunks, goggles and caps.
“Every day, two children under the age of 15 drown somewhere in America,” according to the Goggles for Guppies website. “Statistics produced by the Center For Disease Control and Prevention and USA Swimming support the unacceptable facts that 70 percent of African-American children and 60 percent of Hispanic children do not know how to swim. More than 40 percent of Caucasian children have little or no swimming ability. The majority of these kids come from underprivileged families.”
Donations can be brought to Columbia Athletic Club, Columbia Gym, Columbia Swim Center, Dickinson Pool, Dorsey Hall Pool, Hopewell Mini-WaterPark, Kendall Ridge Pool, River Hill Pool, Supreme Sports Club and Swansfield Pool.
Columbia Association’s commitment to safe swimming continues throughout the year with its Columbia Swims program, which offers $2 lessons on water safety and introductory swimming instruction. These lessons are held at Faulkner Ridge Pool (Sundays, 5 to 6 p.m., Mondays, 6 to 7 p.m.) and Talbott Springs Pool (Tuesdays, 6 to 7 p.m., Saturdays, 5 to 6 p.m.).
Register in person at those two pools, or by calling 410-312-6332 or going online at ColumbiaAssociation.org/login. The $2 price is for CA members or residents with the free Columbia Card. Lessons for non-members and non-cardholders are $8.