Tuesday, November 28 marks the 12th annual #GivingTuesday, as what originated as a charity drive for the non-profit Mary-Arrchie Theater Company in Chicago in 2011 has turned into a day of giving across the globe.
GivingTuesday has evolved into a global generosity movement encouraging people and organizations to consider charitable donations as a part of their annual spending around the winter holidays, with national movements now in more than 85 countries.
Following major shopping holidays “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday,” the Tuesday following American Thanksgiving is now dedicated to donating for the greater good.
In 2022, donors in the United States gave a reported $3.1 billion, with more than 20 million contributing to that total.
For this year’s GivingTuesday, we’re presenting some swimming-themed charities for you to consider.
Have other organizations worthy of donations? Leave them in the comments below!
SwimTayka is a UK-based charity that promotes water safety and provides free swimming lessons and drowning prevention education to underprivileged children who live in areas where open water—oceans, lakes and rivers—is predominant. The organization currently has projects running in Brazil, Peru and Indonesia (Bali), and they also have a relay dedicated to crossing the English Channel.
2. MICHAEL PHELPS FOUNDATION
Founded by Michael Phelps back in 2008, The Michael Phelps Foundation has continuously evolved over the years, with its primary mission to provide swimming lessons to those in need. The foundation features the “IM Program” which is a comprehensive water safety curriculum, and in 2018, the “IM healthy” facet was added to the program with dedicated emotional wellness lessons. Other missions of the organization include the Level Field Fund, supporting the mission of professional swimmers.
3. JESSIE REES FOUNDATION (NEGU)
The Jesse Reese Foundation was founded in the honor of Jessie Rees, a 12-year-old swimmer who lost her battle with cancer in 2012. During a 10-month battle with cancer, she helped other kids fighting cancer who couldn’t leave the hospital via the creation of JoyJars, and the organization continues to operate on the belief that every kid fighting cancer deserves to smile and be encouraged to “Never Ever Give Up” (NEGU).
There is also a free gift available to those who donate at least $125 on GivingTuesday:
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4. STRIDE Adaptive Sports
STRIDE’s mission is to provide adaptive sport and recreation lessons to individuals with disabilities, with a focus on youth and Wounded Warriors. STRIDE has hosted swimming programs that focus on teaching children with autism (ages 4-21) the basics of swimming and water safety; and for the more advanced swimmer, teaches stroke work and easy competition skills for Special Olympics.
5. MAC CRUTCHFIELD FOUNDATION
The Mac Crutchfield Foundation was created to honor the life of Mac Crutchfield, who drowned while playing in a downpour in 2008 despite being a competitive swimmer with the Area Tallahassee Aquatics Team. The foundation is geared towards drowning prevention through education and aims to provide swim lessons to residents in communities in need. The foundation hosts an annual “Mac Event” which features a swim clinic and dinner with numerous Olympians, where donations are made to swim programs across the country.
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SwemKids is a nonprofit school-based program based out of Atlanta that teaches children introductory swimming lessons and water safety skills as a part of their school’s curriculum—from elementary to high school students. With a mission to eliminate all barriers that keep communities with the highest drowning rates from having a healthy relationship with water, SwemKids’ curriculum-based model ensures that children are exposed to the water early. In addition to a direct donation, you can also sponsor a student or a full class of swimmers with an introductory gift that provides students with swimsuits, goggles, swim bags, and other equipment.
7. USA SWIMMING FOUNDATION
The USA Swimming Foundation was established in 2004 and serves to help support free or low-priced swim lessons to reduce drowning rates in America, along with supporting professional swimmers in their quest for international success. The foundation added “Impacting Communities” to its mission statement in 2023, designed to support the foundation’s efforts to grow a diverse community of champion athletes by creating competitive opportunities within traditionally underserved communities. This comes in the form of Community Impact Grants, HBCU Grants, and supporting Community Swim Teams.
8. BLACK SWIMMING ASSOCIATION
The UK-based Black Swimming Association was founded by a group of individuals of diverse backgrounds, including international swimmer Alice Dearing, music producer Ed Accura, broadcast journalist and former college swimmer Seren Jones, and businesswoman and inventer Danielle Obe. The mission is simple: diversify aquatics at every level, from recreational to the Olympics, by addressing the systemic barriers to participation for the Black community.
9. SWIM ACROSS AMERICA
Swim Across America is a full-on cancer organization that funnels money directly to cancer research, clinical trials and patient programs by hosting charity swims. The organization requires that 100% of grants be applied to approved projects and not ancillary costs like overhead or building costs. In 2021, the organization introduced SAA My Way, a virtual challenge you can create your own event and select which charity you’d like to support. Over 100 Olympians have attended Swim Across America events.
10. NICA NADADORES
The Nica Nadadores is a competitive swim club in Nicaragua that offers a scholarship program for the country’s underserved youth to empower them through both swimming and education. In addition to running workouts, the Nica Nadadores provide monthly community service activities and mentorship on life skills. Those in the scholarship program receive academic financial assistance to study at the top universities in the country. “Our goal is to help student-athletes reach their full potential by showing that their progress and success in the pool is transferable to the classroom and beyond.”