Colin’s Hope Shares Home Tips for Water Safety During Stay-at-Home Order

Colin’s Hope is posting water safety tips and family activities on social media to help reduce the increased risks of drowning* and alleviate cabin fever during the public health mandates for social distancing. We invite you to join in and boost your family fun by following our posts. 

Here’s what’s coming up next week:

  • Monday, 2pm CDT LIVE on Facebook
    • Play Water Safety Hopscotch with Colin’s Hope (Have your sidewalk chalk ready!)
  • Tuesday, 2pm CDT LIVE on Facebook
  • Wednesday, 2pm CDT LIVE on Facebook
    • SHOW & TELL: Family Water Safety Rules (Send us YOUR family’s water safety rules before Wednesday and we will share them live. Download your bookmark and watch this video for more information.)
  • Thursday, 2pm CDT LIVE on Facebook
    • “The X-Effect” Lesson with Special Guest, Dana Gage of The LV Project (This lesson is great for older children)
  • Friday, 2pm CDT LIVE on Facebook
    • “Water Safety Science: Home Pool Safety Investigation” with Special Guest, Susan Tyson of Tyson Aquatics

Missed this weeks activities? Here’s a recap of our tips from March 16-27:

* With kids at home unexpectedly and many parents either working remotely or still required to work outside the home, the risk of drowning for children increases. Kids are naturally drawn to water-related activities and they may spend more time without uninterrupted supervision or in the care of unfamiliar caregivers. It is essential that families give extra attention to the new challenges and dangers this change in daily routine presents. For more information, contact us at

Colin’s Hope Urges Water Safety During Spring Break

Are you getting ready for Spring Break? Sadly, Texas loses at least 1 child to a fatal, preventable drowning during Spring Break. Alissa Magrum, the Executive Director at Colin’s Hope, joins Leslie Rangel in the Good Day Austin studio to talk about what you and your family can do to stay safer in and around water.

Thank you to our partners at FOX 7 Austin, the Good Day Austin show, and Safe Kids Austin for sharing the opportunity to talk about Spring Break Water Safety.

Please watch & share. Drowning is Fast. Silent. And Preventable.

Colin’s Hope gives THANKS on #GIVINGTUESDAY

Giving Tuesday, annually held the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, is a day dedicated to charitable giving around the globe. At Colin’s Hope, we believe there is no better way to spend the day than by saying THANKS to many of our Water Safety Champions – those who give so much of their time, talents, and resources in helping us do this work 365 days a year. Drowning happens year-round. THANK YOU to those who keep the conversation going from January to December!


Special thank you to HEB & HEB Tournament of Champions for supporting our water safety efforts and to Austin Independent School District and Mills Elementary School for adopting our curriculum Water Safety with Colin & Friends for their school. Together, we are doing so much more.



Your Giving is LIFE-GIVING! Water Safety Champions, Brady & Kristen Bennett, chose to GIVE a Colin’s Hope Water Safety with Colin & Friends Premium Curriculum Kit which will GIVE the students of West Cypress Hills Elementary School LIFE-GIVING drowning prevention education. This kit can be used for many years, which multiplies the LIFE-GIVING investment the Bennetts have made. Thank you, Brady & Kristen!


A special thanks to Amy Burch and her husband, Dan, who have taken on countless special assignments from Colin’s Hope. Your willing hearts and generosity with your time are truly a testament that “Your Giving is Life-Giving!” 


THANK YOU to the amazingly dedicated Board of Directors of Colin’s Hope for your unfailing support of the Colin’s Hope staff, mission, and vision.

Colin’s Hope Discusses Winter Water Safety on Fox 7

Thank you to FOX 7 Austin and Dave Froehlich for speaking with Colin’s Hope during the Safe Kids Austin spot to talk about Winter Water Safety. We cannot let our guard down at any point as drownings are FAST. SILENT. And PREVENTABLE all year round.

Watch and share to help Colin’s Hope as we work tirelessly 365 days a year in Colin’s honor and in honor of all those lost to and impacted by drowning.

Colin’s Hope stands beside our fellow Families United to Prevent Drowning warriors and say Not. One. More Drowning.

Water Safety with Colin & Friends makes its way to West Cypress Hills Elementary

Thanks to a generous donation by The Bennett Family and Spicewood Vet Clinic, Water Safety with Colin & Friends has made it’s way to another Lake Travis ISD elementary school.

After attending the Best Day Ever Party to Prevent Drowning in early 2019, The Bennetts felt compelled to donate this water safety education tool to their son’s elementary school because they have been present at parties with nonfatal drowning experiences.

What makes programs like these successful? A committed, caring school administration that understands the need for drowning prevention skills. Thank you to Principal Melanie Beninga and the entire West Cypress Hills Elementary School community for accepting this gift with open arms. Together we can reach so many more children and families with this important message.

Winter Water Safety Tips From Colin’s Hope

Almost 30% of Texas children’s drownings happen during the colder months (October thru April). FOX 7 Austin‘s Dave Froehlich gives Alissa Magrum, Colin’s Hope Executive Director, the opportunity to speak to the need during a Safe Kids Austin spot.

Remember these simple tips as you pack for your holiday trips, and prepare for visitors:

  • Talk to your family to make a water safety plan.
  • Be mindful when you visit other people’s homes – How are their rules different than your own?
  • Keep your guard up.
  • Pay close attention and WATCH children around water, even when you’re not planning to swim.
  • Never leave a child unattended in bathtub, even for a few seconds.
  • Enroll in swim lessons and CPR training.

Wishing you a safe and happy holiday season!

The Colin’s Hope Team

Bill O’Melia of Drennan’s Dreams Presents to Aquatics Professionals

Colin’s Hope was proud to host Bill O’Melia of Drennan’s Dreams Foundation for a presentation to aquatics professionals in the greater Austin area.

Bill O’Melia, Drennan’s Dad and founder of Drennan’s Dreams, spoke about the important roll that aquatics managers should play in creating a culture of safety in each of their facilities. Catch a sneak peek below, and learn more about Drennan’s Dreams at

Colin’s Hope is honored to work with Drennan’s Dreams. Together with all of the Families United to Prevent Drowning members – we say #notonemore drowning and we will keep working to achieve this vision.

Traveling soon? Remember these simple water safety tips!

Traveling season is upon us! With Thanksgiving just around the corner many families are planning to visit family and friends or will be welcoming guests into their own homes.

Before you pack your bags or pull out the rollaway bed, take a few minutes to think about your family’s Water Safety Plan.

  1. Appoint an ADULT Water Guardian. Unfortunately, drowning can happen year round. New places are fascinating for everyone, especially young children. If you have a backyard pool or will near any kind of water (hot tub, lake, pond, river, etc.), please appoint an adult water guardian at all times – even if there are no plans to be near water.
  2. BLOCK access to water. Do you have a backyard pool? Do you have easy access to a pond or lake? Put barriers in your home to keep young children away from water.
  3. Share your water safety plan. Make sure your family and guests know your safety plan! Display a safety sign around your home, and take some time to share the plan with your guests. Going somewhere fun for a few days? Put your plan together upon arrival to help your family be safer near water!

Just a few simple changes in behavior can create a safer culture around water. Learn more at and take our Water Safety Quiz at today!

Safe travels wherever you may go, and best wishes for a safer break.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Colin’s Hope Presents in Legislative Briefing at Texas Capitol

Colin’s Hope Executive Director presents at legislative briefing on October 18.

On October 18, 2018 the Texas Drowning Prevention Alliance hosted a legislative briefing to begin engaging and educating legislators and staffers around water safety and drowning prevention.

Colin’s Hope is proud to work along side these amazing water safety professionals, and will continue to educate our community and decision-makers about the importance of water safety programs. “With your help, drowning is 100% preventable,” said Colin’s Hope founder and father of Colin Holst.

Thank you to the Texas Drowning Prevention Alliance for encouraging this community to work together. We know our messages will reach more children and families because of organizations like this.




At least 73 fatal drownings of Texas children, and 5 adults in Lake Travis alone, this year highlight the need for all Texans to be safer around water. Sadly, we also saw the drowning of Olympic skier Bode Miller’s daughter, Emmy in June and have lost Central Texas children and adults to drownings in all kinds of water from bathtubs to pools to open water.  It is estimated that 5x as many children survive a non-fatal drowning. We must END drowning.

Colin’s Hope is an Austin-based nonprofit with global reach formed a decade ago by Colin Holst’s family after Colin’s tragic drowning in a South Austin public life guarded swimming pool in 2008, and aims to END drowning in Central Texas.   They have enlisted young athletes and their families to help.

This Sunday, August 26, 400 young athletes ages 5-15 will swim, bike and run to honor Colin’s memory and the many other children lost to fatal drownings. The children will raise awareness and funds for Colin’s Hope. Many of the kids choose to “tri” for a particular child lost to a fatal drowning or for one who has survived a non-fatal drowning. The first wave of athletes (the Rookies age 5-6) will start the race, with the elite racers next, followed by the Juniors (ages 7-10) and Seniors (ages 11-15). They will swim then bike then run. All athletes receive a medal as they cross the finish line. There will be multiple families at the triathlon who have lost their children to drowning, as well as kids racing who have lost their sibling to a drowning. THIS IS MORE THAN JUST A RACE.

Race details here:

Colin’s parents, Jeff and Jana Holst, describe their motivation: “After Colin’s death, we learned our tragedy is the tragedy of many other families. Drowning is the number one cause of unintentional injury-related death for children under five and a leading cause of death for ages 1-14, BUT IT IS PREVENTABLE. Many people do not know that drowning is fast, silent and preventable or that nobody is drown proof. We are on a mission to get people talking about water safety and are asking them to BECOME A WATER GUARDIAN.”  Colin’s Hope has an online water safety quiz , a proven water safety educational program and resources to help keep children and families safer around water.

Alissa Magrum, Executive Director of Colin’s Hope added, “As we begin a new school year, imagine 2 empty school busses pull up to a school. The seats on those busses should have been filled with the Texas children who lost their lives to a drowning this year. 10 more full school busses pull up. These are all the children who survived a non-fatal drowning this year. It is unbearable to think about, as drowning is preventable. We will continue working 365 days a year to end drowning.  Our amazing group of young triathletes have been training all summer and are ready to cross the finish line having helped to save lives.”

This year’s triathlon is sponsored by the following generous organizations: Nitro Swimming, Bicycle Sport Shop, State Farm – Ben Archer, Mosquito Authority, The YMCA of Austin, Hamlin Home Team, Baylor, Scott and White, Hill Country Indoor, Learning Express, Greater Goods Roasting, Nada Moo, Clif Bar, Vistago Print, Lake Travis ISD, Lake Pointe Community Center

NEWS MEDIA CONTACT: Alissa Magrum, Executive Director, Colin’s Hope Cell: 512-294-3910 Email: