2020 was nothing like any of us thought it would be. We cancelled plans, turned our kitchens into classrooms and stayed separate, together, to keep our families and communities safe.
While this year has certainly been anything but normal, we can’t help but reflect on this year with a grateful heart. We’re thankful for the lessons it taught us about riding waves through the worst of storms, finding new ways to safely continue doing what we love and slowing down to appreciate simple joys like spending more time with family, receiving a phone call from a friend and enjoying a homemade meal.
So, as we get ready to say goodbye to this year, we wanted to share a few special moments we’re choosing to celebrate from this year! We hope you find your own reasons to celebrate, as you move forward with newfound hope, inspired by the possibilities a new year brings.
GIVING BACK & MAKING WAVES THAT MADE A DIFFERENCE
From sewing masks and donating supplies for frontline workers to finding creative ways to spread a little cheer through socially distant CARE-avans, we could not be more proud of the way our Goldfish Family stepped up to support their local communities and create ripples of kindness during this year of great need!
Before the pandemic put many aspects of our daily lives on pause, one of our fintastic franchisees kicked off 2020 by taking a group of Goldfish team members on an annual volunteer trip to Belize, where they taught children in a remote fishing village how to swim. During their visit, they also built a home and treatment facility for the village nurse and constructed a new play structure for the local elementary school.
The USA Swimming Foundation shares our goal of educating children about the importance of learning how to swim, and aims to provide opportunities for every child in the U.S. to receive swim instruction, regardless of financial capacity. Through their annual grant program, the foundation awards a select number of learn-to-swim programs with additional funding to support community-focused water safety programs for children who might not otherwise have access to life-saving swim lessons. This year, we were honored to receive the news that not one, but two Goldfish Swim Schools were awarded grants for their proposed plans to give even more children the opportunity to become safer, more confident swimmers!
FINDING CREATIVE WAYS TO SPREAD THE MESSAGE OF WATER SAFETY
Even while our schools were closed, we knew there was still so much we could do to reach families with the important message of water safety. So we created Goldfish At Home to provide free, virtual dry-land swim exercises to families nationwide, and launched a variety of water safety-focused initiatives and activities, including virtual W.A.T.E.R. Safety presentations for schools, daycares and community organizations.
We also teamed up with World Champion Swimmer Ryan Murphy to host “Recess With Ryan” on Facebook Live, and joined Summer Camp Live with Kelly & Ryan to share our top water safety tips for a safe and SPLASH-tastic summer.
ADVOCATING FOR WATER SAFETY EDUCATION AS AN ESSENTIAL PUBLIC HEALTH NEED
We’re so grateful to be back in the pool doing what we love, and remain committed to doing everything we can to continue providing a safe, fun and welcoming environment for kids to learn lifesaving swim skills. As part of this commitment, we’ve joined forces with the USA Swimming Aquatics Council to educate public officials about the profound impact swimming lessons can have on drowning prevention, and to lobby for essential status for purpose-driven aquatics facilities. We are thrilled that the State of California has become the first state to deem swim lessons essential, and will continue to fight to to ensure children across North America have the ability to learn essential water safety skills that can save their life. Show your support and help save lives by signing our petition!
BRINGING THE GOLDEN EXPERIENCE TO EVEN MORE COMMUNITIES
Earlier this year, we celebrated the grand opening of our 100th location, and have since opened 11 more, for a total of 111 swim schools spanning from coast-to-coast across North America!
What started as a mission to help children be safer in and around water, and an idea to transform the way swim lessons are taught, has turned into something beyond our wildest hopes and dreams.
We continue to be humbled by the heartfelt notes and thoughtful messages we receive from proud parents, and could not be more grateful for our fin-tastic team and amazing members who have supported us throughout the years. It’s because of your trust and support that we’ve had the privilege of teaching hundreds of thousands of children how to be safer in and around the water, and have the opportunity to bring the Golden Experience of Goldfish Swim School to a hundred thousand more!