Hope Floats @ Salem Swim

Hope Floats is a nationwide nonprofit providing low cost swim lessons to hundreds of children annually. 

DID YOU KNOW?  Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death for children ages 5 & under.

The equivalent of 13 school busses full of children die each year in the US alone as a result of drowning.  While drowning does NOT discriminate, statistics tell us that children who are poor are more likely to be sitting on these buses.

But the blessing is, drowning is preventable.  

We know that the risk of drowning is reduced by 88% when a child participates in formal swimming lessons. By combining our resources, we can connect disadvantaged children with high-quality swim lessons and help educate their families on how to keep their children safer. 

Hope Floats allows us to help ALL kids in our community, regardless of their parents’ ability to pay.


Together, we conduct fundraisers and send all money raised to Hope Floats @ Salem Swim.  Hope Floats places the funds into a “Salem Swim Bucket” that’s designated for our community.  Then, we send families in need of scholarships to the Hope Floats website to complete an online application.  

For families that qualify, Hope Floats sends a scholarship for 3 months of lessons, using the funds from our bucket.  All families are expected to 1) contribute financially toward their lessons, 2) to attend lessons consistently, and 3) to complete a survey following their 3 month scholarship.  If this criteria is met, families are able to re-apply for the scholarship until their child has learned to swim.

Because Salem Swim makes an additional donation to cover all administrative costs, 100% of the dollars raised go straight to scholarships.


Make a donation. You can make a difference by making a one-time or monthly donation to Hope Floats @ Salem Swim by clicking here.

Start a Facebook or Instagram Fundraiser. Follow the instructions here to set up your own fundraiser for your birthday or any day and help save the life of a local child.  Please be sure to use the words “Salem Swim” in the title of your fundraiser to insure the funds go into our local bucket.

Look for other fund raising opportunities at Salem, take part, and share the word.  

Your actions helps a child living in poverty learn to save their own life.   Could there be a bigger blessing than that?

Are you interested in applying for a scholarship through Hope Floats? Click here to apply and as soon as you are approved we will be in touch to register you for classes.


Hope Floats is a 501c3 national nonprofit organization that reviews scholarship applications and distributes scholarships for swimming lessons to kids in local communities.  It was founded in 2016 by Cindy Tonnesen, owner of SwimKids in the Washington DC area.  

Like many swim school owners, Cindy encountered many families who could not afford the life saving skill of swim lessons for their children, nor could her company afford scholarships for them all.  She was committed to founding a simple, sustainable way for swim schools to provide unlimited scholarships for high-quality swim lessons in local communities, and Hope Floats was born.  

Hope Floats currently partners with 139 swim schools in 25 states, including Salem Swim.