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.

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 www.drennansdreams.org.


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.

Colin’s Hope turns Giving Tuesday on its head to thank supporters!

Colin’s Hope turned #GivingTuesday upside down this year to share our appreciate for partners who have supported water safety for 10 strong years! These companies, organizations, and individuals have generously given their time and talent to the Colin’s Hope family. It was an honor to surprise them with small gifts and kind words to let them know just how appreciative we are. Thank you to all – partners, supporters, donors, volunteers – who choose day-in and day-out to join on us on this drowning prevention journey.

Take a look below at our Giving Tuesday adventure! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to check out what we’ll be up to this Holiday season!


The best way to kick off Giving Tuesday, of course, was to share our appreciation for the founders of Colin’s Hope and Colin’s parents, Jeff and Jana Holst!


Up next? None other than Nitro Swimming for their 10 years of partnership. We couldn’t do it without you! Thank you Mike and Tracy!


Lake Pointe Elementary is a special place for Colins’ Hope. We are so proud to be donating a brand new Water Safety with Colin & Friends Premium Curriculum Kit to them this Giving Tuesday. Find out why in this video! AND, later this week, we will have the privilege of using the materials with their students. Thanks, Lake Pointe and Mrs. Malicki!


Colin’s Hope is so grateful to have the support of two FANTASTIC (and award-winning!) pool companies! Colin’s Hope Executive Director Alissa Magrum got her boots dirty on Giving Tuesday to assist with cleaning two pools with our friends at O’Neills Pools and Patriot Pool and Spa.



A special tribute this Giving Tuesday to Reagan Outdoor Advertising for their many years of partnership and support of our mission. Thank you, Reagan!


We are excited to share that we will be visiting TEN preschool classes at Bagdad Elementary (Leander ISD) in the Spring to help their students and families prepare for a safer warm season! No one is drownproof, but everyone can be safer around water. We are looking forward to sharing some great tips and reminders in Leander this upcoming Spring.

We’d also like to share some water safety with YOU! Check out The Whole Hand Rules and let us know your family’s water safety plan!


The YMCA of Austin has been a partner of Colin’s Hope literally from day #1. It is our great honor to thank them for 10 years of support in this special way.


And then there are the silent saints. Want a peek behind one of the curtains? Take a look. And thank you to all our supporters who may remain nameless in the Giving Tuesday limelight but are shining stars in our hearts. You keep the cogs of drowning prevention work turning 365 days a year. Thank you, All Star Children’s Foundation!


Last, but certainly not least, Hamlin Home Team, where are you? Giving our thanks to you this  Giving Tuesday. Thank you for all you do for Colin’s Hope!


It was a such a blast visiting everyone! At Colin’s Hope, we hope everyone knows how much we appreciate YOU!


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.


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 NY has JUST LAUNCHED the website www.notoutofthewater.com 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 NY will direct site visitors to www.colinshope.org 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 www.colinshope.org/watersafetymonth/

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 [email protected] 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!