VIRGINIA BEACH, VA - Swimways Corp., a leading outdoor recreational products manufacturer celebrated raising more than $900,000 for charity organization Operation Smile. Over the last six years, Swimways has created nearly 5,000 smiles around the world.
Packaging for the SwimWays(r) Swim Steps product line has highlighted Swimways support for Operation Smile since 2007. Swim Steps packaging also includes a donation brochure insert featuring a special message from Swimways Corp. President David Arias, inviting consumers to make direct contributions to Operation Smile. Swim Steps is a three step program consisting of a line of floats and swim training gear for children. Swim Step 1 supports young children as they are introduced to the water, Swim Step 2 provides support as children explore the water and become more confident, and Swim Step 3's graduated support gives parents a swim training system to empower their child in the water.
In addition to packaging and print support, Swimways also supports the charity online, with direct links from Swimways.com to the Operation Smile website, and via social media. In April 2012, Swimways launched a social media campaign with a Facebook challenge to benefit the charity, donating $2 for each new "like" resulting in 11,000 new Operation Smile Facebook fans and a 171% increase in Facebook monthly revenue, funding 91 surgeries.
"We're very proud of our partnership with Operation Smile," said David Arias, president of Swimways Corp. "As a manufacturer of children's products, and parents ourselves, we believe that every child should have the ability to smile. We're honored to have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of so many children around the world."
Operation Smile was founded by Dr. William P Magee Jr., a plastic surgeon, and his wife Kathleen, a registered nurse in 1982. At a recent Swimways Corp. meeting Dr. Magee gave thanks to the employees for their efforts. "If it wasn't for people like you all doing what you do every day, Operation Smile would not be able to do what it does," Dr. Magee said. "Swimways is part of our team, and that team takes care of kids all over the world."
This year Operation Smile launched its 30th Anniversary celebration with the change forever(tm) campaign, featuring a year-long series of events in the United States and globally. World-renowned athlete Tony Hawk stars in an interactive film which can be viewed at www.wecanchangeforever.com<http://www.wecanchangeforever.com>. In the film, viewers can upload their smile through Facebook and watch as their smile travels around the world to help a child suffering from a facial deformity such as cleft lip and cleft palate. They are also asked to take a pledge to help create greater awareness for children suffering from facial deformities.
SwimWays Swim Steps, a product line created for swim development, includes the Swim Sweater(tm), Sea Squirts Swim Assist Vest(tm), and the #1 selling Baby Spring Float(tm). SwimWays Swim Steps products are available nationwide at Target, Walmart, Toys R Us, Leslies' Pool Supplies, and other retailers.
About Swimways Corp
Based in Virginia Beach, Virginia, Swimways Corp is a privately owned leisure and recreational water products manufacturer whose mission is making free time more fun through innovation. It is a company rich in traditional values and respected for the quality and integrity of its products and services. With distribution in more than 50,000 storefronts, it markets three unique brands: SwimWays(r), Kelsyus(r) and COOP(r). With offices in Hong Kong and the United States, the company's diverse staff is passionate about developing fun and engaging products for kids.
About Operation Smile
Operation Smile, headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, is an international children's medical charity with a presence in more than 60 countries, whose network of more than 5,000 medical volunteers from over 80 countries is dedicated to helping improve the health and lives of children. Since its founding in 1982, Operation Smile has provided more than 3.5 million healthcare evaluations and conducted over 200,000 free surgeries for children and young adults born with cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities, as well as patients suffering from burns. To build long-term self-sufficiency in developing countries, Operation Smile trains doctors and local medical professionals in its partner countries so they are empowered to treat their own local communities, donates medical equipment and supplies, and provides year-round medical treatment through its worldwide Comprehensive Care Centers.