Colin’s Hope Launches Media Campaigns to Highlight National Water Safety Month

Colin’s Hope has launched multiple media campaigns to highlight National Water Safety Month. During the month of May, we will be sharing water safety tips, encouraging adults and caregivers to become Water Guardians by taking the Colin’s Hope Water Safety Quiz, and we will be partnering with FCB Health on an amazing campaign called NOT OUT OF THE WATER. Check out all we have going on in the coming weeks, follow us on Facebook for the latest information, and join our mailing list to receive water safety and drowning prevention tips year-round.


Colin’s Hope has great news to share about a new partnership we have formed with FCB Health that will help us reach more families and children with valuable water safety and drowning prevention messages.

You may recall the “Demystifying Dry Drowning” story from KXAN News that ran on April 30, or have seen your Facebook feed full of the words “dry drowning,” “secondary drowning,” and “delayed drowning” (none of which are medical terms acknowledged by medical professionals). FCB Health has JUST LAUNCHED the website in an effort to educate parents and caregivers of the drowning signs and symptoms they need to look for the AFTER LEAVING THE WATER. Colin’s Hope was able to help with the content of the site and FCB Health will direct site visitors to for general water safety resources and tips. We are so proud to partner with FCB Health to impact more families and children, ultimately preventing more drownings.

Below is the commentary we wrote to help simplify the definition of drowning after leaving the water, signs and symptoms of drowning and our most basic water safety tip: Watch Kids Around Water.

“Drowning is a process with multiple outcomes (Fatal,non-fatal with injury/illness and non-fatal without injury/illness). The medical definition of drowning is defined as “respiratory impairment from submersion/immersion in liquid” (Hawkings, Semprsrott & Schmidt).

The drowning process begins in water and the outcome can occur in water (as in most cases) or it can occur after leaving the water (as in some cases that have been recently described as dry, secondary or delayed drowning).

There are signs and symptoms in drownings that people need to look for after leaving the water if a person has experienced some type of water related incident (inhaling water, choking on water). Some of these signs are: trouble breathing, chest pain, persistent coughing, vomiting, foam around the mouth, low energy, extreme sleepiness, acting unusual and irritability. If you see these signs in your child, seek medical help immediately.

Bottom line: Watch Kids around water, Keep them in Arm’s Reach. If you do this, you will see a drowning incident as it happens and be able to react – either to rescue or watch for symptoms that may occur after leaving the water.

Thank you again for your attention to our mission to raise water safety awareness to prevent drowning. Together, we can achieve the vision of world where no child drowns.


Colin’s Hope: Kicks off the BE A WATER GUARDIAN CAMPAIGN to Prevent Drowning

Colin’s Hope is working throughout May to educate parents and caregivers of simple things that can do to prevent drowning

Austin , Texas May 1, 2018​ – May is National Water Safety Month and Colin’s Hope, a local water safety and drowning prevention organization formed in August 2008 after 4-year-old Colin Holst fatally drowned in a public, lifeguarded pool.

Colin’s Hope kicks off their annual water safety campaign this month to educate parents and caregivers of simple things that can do to prevent drowning as drowning remains the number one cause of unintentional death for children under 5 and a leading cause for ages 1-14. Yet drowning is preventable. Sadly, Texas has already lost at least 19 children to fatal drownings this year. 5x as many have survived a non-fatal drowning that will impact them and their families for their lifetime.

National Water Safety Month is a collaborative national effort to bring attention aquatic safety.

“Drowning is fast, silent, and preventable. This year marks the 10-year anniversary of our son Colin’s death and the launch of Colin’s Hope,” said Colin’s Hope founders parents Jeff and Jana Holst. “We are proud of all that Colin’s Hope has accomplished in the last decade and are passionately committed to doing all that we can to ensure that no other family loses
a child to drowning. Please remember that drowning is preventable and no one is drownproof. Please educate yourselves and change your behaviors to be safer around water. We challenge you to BE A WATER GUARDIAN. Together, we can achieve the vision of a world where no child drowns.”

Colin’s Hope challenges all parents and adults to be Water Guardians for children by taking the Colin’s Hope Water Safety Quiz at

Swim Safety Curriculum Makes Its Way to International School of Texas

International School of Texas will be partnering with Colin’s Hope this Spring to bring water safety to their campus. These partnerships are key to saving lives and preventing drownings. Colin’s Hope aims to maximize our prevention efforts by working with teachers, parents, and students at International School of Texas in order to create the biggest impact possible.

Beginning in May, all students in the Early Childhood-Grade 1 through 1st grade classes will receive the Colin’s Hope Swim Safety Classroom Program over a 1-week period. Additionally, younger and older students will have the opportunity to learn about safer behavior around water through stories and service projects. The integration of this program will also provide an opportunity for parents and teachers to learn and speak about critical layers of protection.

Thank you to Tim Reilly, Head of School, and the entire International School of Texas campus! We are looking forward to a Best Spring Ever with you.

Colin’s Hope and Local Partners Host Successful Benefit Events

WOW! Colin’s Hope is amazed at the amount of support we received from local communities last week! Thanks to two of our local partners – Kendra Scott (South Congress) and Hamlin Home Team – many more families and children will be able to receive water safety information!

On August 9, a Give Back Night at Kendra Scott resulted in a $1,600 donation for drowning prevention. On August 11, Jill Hamlin with Hamlin Home Team collected over $1,000 dollars in support for Colin’s Hope from a neighborhood event. This. Is. HUGE. It is because of partners like these that Colin’s Hope is able to engage more closely with community members and local families! Thank you, all, so much!

Couldn’t make these events? No worries! Visit us soon at:

Interested in hosting a benefit night? Email us at today! Benefit nights allow local communities to continue receiving and sharing water safety information, and is a great way to support a local cause. Contact us today to set up your event!

Give Back Nights Set to Benefit Colin’s Hope

Save the Dates! Thanks to some of our amazing local supporters, Colin’s Hope will be benefiting from a few upcoming Give Back Nights. Look for us at the following events:

Kendra Scott Gives Back

  • Wednesday, August 9, 6-8pm at the South Congress Location
  • Join us as we help Kendra Scott introduce their NEW Fall 2017 collection! 20% of proceeds will benefit Colin’s Hope. Can’t make it?? Place your pre-order today!

Hamlin Home Team Frozy’s and Teacher Talk

  • Friday, August 11, 12-4pm at 3101 Hayden Bnd, Austin, TX 78738
  • Come enjoy a Frozy’s Shaved Ice and a visit with friends! Teacher assignments will be sent that afternoon so we’ll be checking our emails while the kids play. The Hamlin Home Team is happy to provide the shaved ice while collecting donations for Colin’s Hope. Everyone welcome, no matter the school. Bring your suits and towels and plan to hang!

Modern Market Give Back Nights

  • Wednesday, September 6 at the Westlake location, and
  • Wednesday, September 20 at the Arboretum location
  • 50% of all mentions will benefit Colin’s Hope!

THANK YOU to all of our fantastic supporters for these opportunities, and for helping us to achieve our vision of a world where children do not drown!

O’Neill’s Pools Gathers Life Jackets for Area Loaner Stations

Colin’s Hope is excited to partner with O’Neill’s Pools as they gather life jackets for area loaner stations! Colin’s Hope works year-round to collect gently used life jackets of any size that can be placed at loaner stations for guests to use during their visits.

With 4th of July right around the corner, this is the perfect time to make sure your family’s life jackets still fit! If anyone has an ill-fitted jacket, or you are planning to get a new one, you can donate your gently used AND reusable jackets to O’Neill’s Pools in Lakeway in exchange for $5 off a new kid’s jacket.

Thank you, Amy and Neil!

How do I know if a life jacket fits properly?

Colin’s Hope uses 3 simple steps to make sure a US Coast Guard approved jacket fits well:

  • All of the buckles should close, usually with a audible “click”
  • It should be snug and tight (like a hug)
  • A jacket should stay on your chest when arms are lifted OR when someone tugs on the shoulders

Hamilton Pool needs ADULT life jackets!

Now that Hamilton Pool is open for the summer, guests are utilizing the brand new life jacket loaner station! This is GREAT news, but we can really use your help to get more adult life jackets out there. Thinking of buying a new life jacket? Drop off your gently used adult-sized life jacket at O’Neill’s Pools as soon as you can, and we will make sure to get it out to our partners at Hamilton Pool!

Thank  you, and have a BEST DAY EVER!

Colin’s Hope at the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson

We are excited to participate in the 8th Annual World’s Largest Swimming Lesson! Taking place on Thursday, June 22, the event aims to build awareness about the fundamental importance of teaching children to swim to prevent drowning.

Team WLSL (hosts of the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson), share these key messages as to WHY this event is so important:

The problem is real

Per the Center for Disease Control, drowning remains the leading cause of unintended, injury-related death for U.S. children ages 1-4, and the second leading cause for children under 14; drowning is an even greater threat in other countries around the world.

Many lack basic swimming skills

In 2014, a survey completed by the American Red Cross found that more than half of all Americans (54 percent) either can’t swim or don’t have all of the basic swimming skills.

Parental supervision is key

According to a SafeKids Worldwide 2016 report, despite the fact that lack of supervision plays a role in the majority of drowning deaths, less than half of parents (49 percent) indicate they remain within arms’ reach of their child in the water.

This event is WORLD WIDE, and Colin’s Hope is proud to be present at 3 local sites on June 22:

  1. Schlitterbahn – New Braunfels: 9am-10am
  2. SafeSplash Swim School – Anderson Mill location: 12pm – 1:30pm
  3. Lakeway Swim Center: 5pm – 7pm

Join in on the fun, register for a FREE swim lesson, and remember to be safer this summer!

Life Jacket Loaner Station Installed at Hamilton Pool

We are excited to share this prevention win with you! Together with our amazing partners at Capital Area Trauma Regional Advisory Council and Travis County Parks a brand new life jacket loaner station opened at Hamilton Pool Preserve and has been immediately utilized by visiting families! We couldn’t be happier to have received this news as these jackets are crucial to open water safety.

Timeline of events:

  • Summer 2016 – 3 drownings (2 fatal and 1 non-fatal) occur at Hamilton Pool Preserve
  • Travis County Parks closes Hamilton pool to swimming
  • Travis County Parks calls Colin’s Hope to help get a life jacket loaner station up and running at Hamilton Pool as well as Reimers Ranch Park
  • Colin’s Hope assists with important messaging on station signage
  • May 1, 2017 – Life Jacket Loaner Station opens and is ready for use!

We are thrilled to continue stocking these stations with life saving devices all year! Thank you to CATRAC for donating life jackets, and to Travis County Parks for putting these stations together. Drowning is preventable, and together we can make a ripple in water safety!

Check out this interview by KEYE-TV, our CBS News affiliate, conducted lakeside by the life jacket loaner station at Mansfield Dam Park with Colins’ Hope Executive Director Alissa Magrum! ***2 corrections: a) Colin’s Hope did not put up the loaner station, but we do keep them stocked. b) We only assist with stations in central Texas.

Best Day Ever Party To Prevent Drowning Supports Preschool Program

Saturday, April 1 was a spectacular night for Colin’s Hope, as we raised essential funds to support the Preschool Swim Safety Program.

Thank you to our guests, our sponsors, and our volunteers for making a HUGE RIPPLE at the Best Day Ever Party to Prevent Drowning!

What an amazing evening for all who attended. Thank You so very much.

While we are still tallying up the totals and tidying up numbers, we believe that with the community’s support and generous contributions, we raised over $100,000 for Colin’s Hope!  This is absolutely incredible and means that so many more children will be able to participate in our Preschool Swim Safety Program. We will be able to provide more families with life saving water safety education and more life jackets to loaner stations at area lakes.

We are so energized to do all we can to continue our fight to prevent drowning.  

We celebrate the memory and life of the children we have lost to drowning (Colin, Tristan, Averie, Grace, Sarah… ) and the vibrant lives of those who have survived a non-fatal drowning (Jack, Mason, and Brady). We use these angels and children as our motivation to do all we can to achieve our vision of a world where children do not drown. We are so grateful that our supporters share this vision with us.

Please talk to your family and friends about water safety. Please change your behavior to be safer around water.  We challenge everyone to visit our website for water safety resources and take our Water Safety Quiz to become a Water Guardian.

Finally, we thank you everyone for helping us to exceed our fundraising goals while raising incredible awareness for drowning prevention.


The Colin’s Hope Team


Colin’s Hope Teams Up With Kwaddle

For the first time ever, Colin’s Hope is teaming up with Kwaddle, a local business dedicated to helping parents find amazing extracurricular opportunities for their children, to help share our water safety messages across the city.

Kwaddle is a new startup born right here in Austin, TX. It helps parents find the best summer camps, activities and classes for children. Over 500 businesses are listed and over 2,000 different activities, camps and family-friendly events are listed on

Each year Kwaddle sponsors a child to go to summer camp (up to $300 value) as part of their mission to help educate and enrich children. To enter the contest simply sign up here, and use the Colin’s Hope code: Amplify-colinshope

Thank you Kwaddle for helping to Amplify Colin’s Hope during the 2017 Amplify Austin Campaign!

Exciting News About the 2017 Got2Swim!

Colin’s Hope is excited to announce a partnership with Open Water Planet to host The 9th Annual Colin’s Hope Got2Swim 10K on Sunday, September 24, 2017 as part of the Open Water Planet Triton Swim Series

This partnership meets the need for more and safer open water swimming events and elevates our shared mission of water safety and drowning prevention. We are ecstatic!

The Colin’s Hope Got2Swim 10K is a pledge-raising swim in Lake Travis (brand new location), that starts and finishes at Mansfield Dam Park. 


  • Expansion of the Colin’s Hope innovative and effective Preschool Swim Safety Program (which tripled in size last year and continues to expand!) 
  • Targeted water safety education card distribution to preschools, child care centers, swim schools, and families throughout Texas and beyond
  • Maintenance and expansion of the Colin’s Hope life jacket loaner program at popular area lakes (including the Mansfield Dam Park where the Got2Swim starts and finishes.
  • Water safety and swim safety classes for children across Texas
  • Expansion of Colin’s Hope safety signage at public and community pools
  • and so much more!

Swimmers can participate as a solo swimmer or form 2-person or 3-person relay teams. This epic open water swimming journey will raise incredible awareness and $50,000 for Colin’s Hope. Each swimmer will be accompanied by a water safety team including: a personal Water Guardian kayaker and open water certified life guards. 

Each swimmer is required to raise or contribute at least $500 (in addition to the registration fee) to Colin’s Hope. We know it will be a BEST DAY EVER on the water to prevent drowning.

Registration is now open, and spots are limited as this will sell out.  Grab your Water Guardian or your relay teammate(s) and sign up. You can see all the details and register here

We know that drowning is preventable and with your help we can help make even bigger waves in water safety and drowning prevention in 2017. We hope to see you in the water for the Colin’s Hope 2017 Got2Swim 10K and hope you’ll consider traveling as a Colin’s Hope ambassador to swim in another Open Water Planet Triton event. I’m planning to take on the entire series!

Best Day Ever,

Alissa Magrum
Colin’s Hope Executive Director

C: (512) 294-3910