SwimWays helps give customers reasons to smile

Jan. 28, 2010
Sales of Swim Steps products raises more than $480,000 for Operation Smile.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia--A language may not be universal, but a smile is.

Operation Smile partners with companies driven by a compassion for children. With its help, Operation Smile provides free reconstructive surgery to those who suffer from facial deformities, such as cleft lips and cleft palates.

Celebrating a three-year partnership, SwimWays has donated more than $480,000 in profits from its Swim Steps line to the children's charity in hopes of changing the world--one smile at a time.

In 2007, when SwimWays--a manufacturer of outdoor recreational products--was looking to partner with a children's charity, the company didn't have to look far.

Headquartered in Norfolk, Va., Operation Smile and SwimWays share 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 approximate 45-minute surgery that can 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 company's 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 medical volunteers, the organization has provided more than 140,000 free surgeries to children with facial deformities across the globe.

"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," said Dr. Magee.

SwimWays has pledged 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.

For more information about SwimWays, visit SwimWays.

To read more about Operation Smile, go to Operation Smile.

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