December 14, 2023

Weekly Insights: Float Hope

Approximately 40% of drownings treated in emergency departments require hospitalization or transfer for further care (compared with 10% for all unintentional injuries). Float Hope of Indian River County provides the gift of swimming as a life skill and a sport to children in Indian River County. Through Float Hope, children as young as age six gain confidence in the water and in life. The organization currently funds 120 plus children, starting between ages 6 and 9, to learn swimming as both a life skill and a sport.

The gift of swimming is a life saver: Sixty percent of Float Hope's swimmers are learning basic water safety skills for the very first time. Indian River County often trends above the Florida average for unintentional drownings. What's more, the CDC states that for every fatal drowning, seven others suffer non-fatal drownings that often lead to catastrophic, long-term consequences, such as brain damage and disability. 

Swimming is Generational: New data, as well as Float Hope’s anecdotal findings, suggest that lacking swim skills is a problem that runs in families. "Our results underscore that racial and ethnic gaps in swimming competence run in families, and that children are less likely to swim when their parents can't swim," said senior study author Dr. Michelle Macy, an emergency medicine physician at Lurie Children's Hospital. By teaching today’s children to swim, your support provides safety not just now, but for generations to come. Just $100 pays for swim lessons for a child for a month; $500 pays for a full “season”; $1,300 pays for a full year of swim lessons and registration fees.

Float Hope Parents Express Their Gratitude: We conducted a survey upon the conclusion of our summer program and we’re proud to report overall positive feedback from our parents. 97% of respondents reported improved swimming skills. Many parents expressed gratitude: “They loved it. It boosted their confidence.” “She loved going, she improved a lot, and I would love for her to continue.” “I would love for my boys to be able to continue learning how to be better swimmers. They really enjoyed it and lost fears of pools.” “She loved it. Thank you for everything.”

Weekly Insights works in conjunction with Indian River Indicators. Indian River Indicators was launched in June 2021 and originated after the completion of the 2019 Indian River Community Needs Assessment. It provides key data and information about our community that is updated annually and can be used to support and sustain proven programs. It can also be used by community leaders to develop policy, promote promising practices and inspire innovation that can lead to solutions to persistent community challenges. Indian River Community Foundation holds informational sessions on the first Tuesday of every month at 4pm via Zoom to introduce the community to this new resource. Please email Director of Philanthropy, Chiaka Nwosu at to attend a session.

To learn more visit and click “Indian River Indicators” or contact a member of the Community Foundation’s team at 772.492.1407.

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