SwimWays spreads healthy smiles

Swim Steps sales have raised more than $480,000 for Operation Smile

SwimWays, a leading manufacturer of outdoor recreational products, is celebrating the success of its three-year partnership with Operation Smile in proving while language may not be universal, a smile is.

Over the last three years, SwimWays has donated more than $480,000 in profits from its best-selling Swim Steps line to the children’s charity in hopes of changing the world, one smile at a time.

Operation Smile partners globally with companies driven by compassion for children, and with their help, provides free reconstructive surgery to those who suffer the shame and humiliation of facial deformities, such as cleft lips and cleft palates.

In 2007, when SwimWays was looking to partner with a children’s charity, they didn’t have to look far. Headquartered in Norfolk, Va., Operation Smile and SwimWays share both local roots and a commitment to children’s development. Three years later, profits from SwimWays’ Swim Steps line have made it possible for 2,112 children to undergo the 45-minute surgery that will forever change their lives.
“We chose to partner with Operation Smile because they share the same values as SwimWays,” said SwimWays President David Arias of the three-year venture with Operation Smile. “At the end of the day, whether it is a child who is smiling because they’ve learned to swim or because they are now able to smile for the very first time, we are happy to play a small part in making children’s lives better – around the globe.”

Dr. William Magee and wife Kathy founded Operation Smile more than 27 years ago upon returning from a sole venture to the Philippines to provide medical attention to children with facial deformities. Witnessing an overwhelming amount of children in need, and being forced to turn many away, the Magees returned home to create Operation Smile. Through the help of dedicated medical volunteers, the organization has provided more than 140,000 free surgeries to children with facial deformities across the globe, healing their smiles and bringing hope for a better future.

“The chance to partner with SwimWays has given us the opportunity to fulfill our shared vision and help thousands of children by bringing together communities, even countries, with one common goal –  bringing smiles to children’s faces,” Dr. Magee said.

SwimWays has held true to its ongoing pledge to donate 2% of all Swim Steps wholesale sales to Operation Smile. Swim Steps introduces children to the water, helping them gain confidence and familiarity while learning to swim. The step by step product line includes the No. 1 selling Baby Spring Float. All packaging proudly displays the Operation Smile mission call-to-action as well as an image of a child who has been helped by the partnership. SwimWays and Swim Steps products are available at thousands of stores nationwide.

In addition to contributing free medical treatment, Operation Smile trains local medical professionals in its partner countries and leaves behind crucial equipment to lay the groundwork for long-term self-sufficiency.  For more information about Operation Smile, visit www.operationsmile.org

For more information about SwimWays, visit www.swimways.com.