Virginia Beach, VA (PRWEB) December 22, 2006
If a dolphin can smile, so should every child in the world. SwimWays, a leading manufacturer of outdoor recreational products, will share this sentiment with families across the U.S. in 2007 as they help raise funds and awareness for children's charity Operation Smile.
Beginning in January of 2007, SwimWays' Swim Steps products -- a line of swim aids for children ages 9 months to 9 years -- will hit retail shelves in new packaging that highlights Operation Smile's life-changing humanitarian work. Operation Smile, headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, is a worldwide children's medical charity whose network of global volunteers is dedicated to helping improve the health and lives of children and young adults. Since its founding, Operation Smile has treated more than 100,000 children born with facial deformities including cleft lips and cleft palates, a problem that afflicts one in 500 children worldwide. SwimWays is donating 2 percent of the gross sales of all Swim Steps and Safe T. Seal products directly to Operation Smile.
SwimWays and Operation Smile share local roots in Southeastern Virginia and a commitment to children's development. Operation Smile celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2007, and SwimWays has been helping parents teach their children to swim for over 35 years. "Learning to swim is a vital life skill," said SwimWays President David Arias, "one that we know and value not only as a manufacturer of children's products, but as parents ourselves. Our partnership with Operation Smile gives us the opportunity to extend our commitment to children and families. As parents share their love of the water with their own children, they will have helped make a tremendous difference in the lives of children worldwide," Arias said.
Operation Smile was founded by Dr. William P. Magee Jr., a plastic surgeon, and his wife, Kathleen, a nurse and clinical social worker. "When we go to a place and see hundreds of children who have been hidden in shame, and at the end of a mission they suddenly have a new life, we have changed more than the lives of those children," Dr. Magee said. "The real power is the betterment of the human spirit, the fellowship it creates between people of different cultures, different races, religions and nationalities -- all for the simple shared desire to restore hope to a child. With our partnership, SwimWays and Operation Smile can help more people join together in bringing smiles to the world's children."
SwimWays' Swim Steps products include the #1 selling Baby Spring Float, and nationally recognized swim training system Safe T. Seal. The entire product line has all-new packaging that features Operation Smile's mission and displays images of children who have been helped by the organization. A special message from celebrity spokesperson Roma Downey, a member of Operation Smile's Board of Governors, will invite families to provide direct contributions. SwimWays' Swim Steps products are available nationwide at Target, Wal-Mart, Toys "R" Us, Sam's Club, Leslie's Pool Supply and pool specialty stores.
SwimWays Corporation, headquartered in Virginia Beach, Va., is a leading manufacturer of outdoor recreational products. The company enjoys distribution in major international retail chains and thousands of specialty stores worldwide. SwimWays' most popular brands for the pool include Rainbow Reef, Spring Float, Toypedo, Kelsyus and Safe T. Seal. For further information, visit http://www.swimways.com.
About Operation Smile
Founded in 1982, Operation Smile, headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, is a worldwide children's medical charity whose network of global volunteers is dedicated to helping improve the health and lives of children and young adults. Since its founding, Operation Smile has treated more than 100,000 children born with cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities. In addition to contributing free medical treatment, Operation Smile trains local medical professionals in its 25 partner countries and leaves behind crucial equipment to lay the groundwork for long-term self-sufficiency.
Operation Smile will commemorate its 25th Anniversary beginning November 2006 with a year-long, multi-faceted series of initiatives to promote sustainability and capacity-building among its 25 mission countries. The year-long anniversary celebration will culminate in November 2007, with the World Journey of Smiles, 40 simultaneous missions in 25 countries, with a goal of providing new smiles and new lives for an estimated 5,000 children living with facial deformities. For more information, visit http://www.operationsmile.org/ or call 1-888-OPSMILE.