Colin’s Hope Shares Water Safety Resources with Au Pair In America

This blog post was originally published in 2021 for host families and au pairs of Au Pair In America

Yay! It’s summer!  That means backyard barbeques, pool parties, lake days, and trips to the beach are here.  And while water can be so much fun,  water is also dangerous.  

DId you know that drowning is the number 1 cause of accidental death for children under 5 and a leading cause for ages 1-14?  Drowning is FAST AND SILENT. Drowning happens to all types of families and in all kinds of water- bath tubs, pools, lakes, ponds, rivers, beaches and even buckets and toilets.  The good news is that drowning is PREVENTABLE.  

Colin’s Hope, a trusted water safety organization, asks you to take a few minutes and do these simple things that will keep your family safer around water. We do not want you  to lose a loved one, as we lost Colin,  to a preventable drowning.

  1.  LEARN ABOUT WATER SAFETY : Visit the Colin’s Hope website to find water safety tips, resources and games. Take the Colin’s Hope Water Safety Quiz and the Parent & Caregiver Water Safety Course 
  2. TALK ABOUT WATER SAFETY.  Talk to all of the caregivers in your family and your children of all ages about water safety. Play water safety games and create water safety rules for your family.  GET and READ the Colin & Friends WAIT FOR A GROWN UP book and have a water safety storytime.
  3. PRACTICE WATER SAFETY. Always appoint an undistracted adult (A WATER GUARDIAN) to watch kids around water and use a Water Guardian Badge so you can tell who is on duty.  Wear properly fitted and fastened U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets when on boats and around open water.
  4. PREVENT DROWNING.  When we learn about, talk about and practice water safety, we can prevent drowning.

Colin’s Hope is here to help. Please reach out to us and please share this life saving information with family and friends. Together,  we can save so many lives. 

In the words of Colin Holst–Have the Best Day Ever!

Alissa Magurm

Colin’s Hope Executive Director, Mom and Lover of Water

Colin’s Hope Begins New Partnership With Austin Sunshine Camps

Colins Hope is excited to share the news of a brand new partnership with Austin Sunshine Camps!

A natural partner for Colin’s Hope, Austin Sunshine Camps has a mission to engage and empower youth through education and outdoor experiences. With water-related activities offered daily at the camp, the opportunities for water safety are endless.

While the details of the partnership are continuing to grow, Austin Sunshine Camps has already incorporated Water Safety with Colin & Friends in one of their virtual camps! 10 campers learned The Whole Hand Rules and pledged to help keep their smaller siblings safe around water.

Additionally, Colin’s Hope is looking forward to the upcoming collaborations:

  • Educating teen campers so that they can then teach water safety to younger campers
  • Training ASC staff & some volunteers around water safety
  • Assisting ASC as they improve their water safety-related policies during their American Camping Association accreditation process
  • and much more!

THANK YOU to Austin Sunshine Camps for commiting to water safety and drowning prevention practices! Together, we aim to create a Gold Standard for water safety and educate as many children and families as possible with life-saving drowning prevention lessons.

Colin’s Hope Rises to the Call: A Pandemic within A Pandemic

The worldwide outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic earlier this year has changed everyone’s lives significantly. In a matter of weeks, households became educated on a virus few had known and almost none had experienced. This knowledge led governments to encourage changes in everyday behavior by releasing students from schools, imposing strict medical precautions, and having families shelter-in-place. Although these changes have been significant in and of themselves, many are unaware of the impact they have made on another equally dangerous worldwide pandemic — drowning.

Drowning receives less prominent attention, yet remains a worldwide epidemic of significant proportion. Additionally, the chaotic changes in families — kids at home, parents/caregivers working remotely, and rising temperatures — has increased drowning risks for children of all ages substantially. In the first 6 weeks of sheltering in place, the number of child drownings in Texas doubled over the current 10-year average for the same time period.

Anticipating the danger, our small but mighty team immediately pivoted and has worked around the clock since mid-March to ensure families are receiving water safety education to combat the risks within their own home. 

  • Our staff began regular LIVE broadcasts on social media, including water safety lessons and games for children as well as education for parents and caregivers. To date, we have recorded over 80 NEW videos that are now available to families, schools, and other partner organizations. 
  • We have provided schools access to water safety lessons and activities for use in an online teaching environment.
  • We’ve kept our 10,000 supporters up to date in an attempt to keep water safety at the front of their minds and their families safer around water. 
  • We also provided an at-home project to over 75 local households that encouraged water safety discussions as a family. 

We have been working passionately and tirelessly and will continue to do so as long as we are able. Although there is not much we can do to change the Coronavirus pandemic and the necessary behavior changes it has inspired, we KNOW we are making a difference in preventing drownings. THAT is the HOPE that keeps us going strong!

To support our critical work during this difficult time, please: 

1) Become a Water Guardian by taking our online Water Safety Quiz to increase your water safety knowledge.

2) Use as many layers of protection as possible in and around water both at home and away.

3) Consider becoming a regular donor by visiting our donation page to keep our mission funded year-round. A monthly donation of any amount can make a life or death difference for a child.

Colin’s Hope Supports The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson

The 2020 World’s Largest Swimming Lesson has gone virtual, and Colin’s Hope is excited to support and participate in this year’s event. Tune in to Facebook on Thursday, July 16 as we participate in a live broadcast at 1:30 PM CST, and throughout the day as we host two virtual swimming lessons with the incredible Kim Shults, aka Swim Kim!

The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson™, created by the World Waterpark Association in 2010, is a global public relations event supported by aquatic facilities, waterparks, pools, swim schools, YMCA’s, among others. The WLSL event serves as a platform to help the global aquatics industry work together to build awareness about the fundamental importance of teaching children to swim to prevent drowning.

Like the Colin’s Hope Facebook page and The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson Facebook page NOW, and watch us all day Thursday! Swimming lessons save lives. Participate in The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson with your whole family.

Latham Pool Products Supports Colin’s Hope For Third Consecutive Year

As one of the world’s largest pool and pool product companies, Latham Pool Products and Coverstar Central have huge opportunities to reach families with water safety education. Eric Wall, Director of Sales for Coverstar Central, sat down (virtually!) with Colin’s Hope to discuss how they have partnered with Colin’s Hope to bring our water safety cards to their customers with every single product purchase. Truly one of our greatest partners.  

Watch the video below for the full story, and or read this press release on PR Web.

Amplify Colin’s Hope March 5 & 6!

Amplify Colin’s Hope March 5 & 6! Amplify Austin Day is the Central Texas region’s day of giving. It is a local generosity movement that connects individuals, families, businesses, and foundations with the causes they are passionate about to create real, lasting change for the local nonprofits that address our most pressing needs.

Colin’s Hope works 365 days a year to increase water safety awareness in families and children. After more than a decade of developing water safety strategies and becoming a leader in drowning prevention, Colin’s Hope has honed our knowledge into evidence-based programs and initiatives proved to grow child and caregiver understanding of water safety. Help us get this education into more classrooms, swim schools, pediatric offices, and the community at large by aiding our efforts. Give today and your gift will be amplified in Austin and beyond.

Help us do important work during this year’s Amplify Austin event. Here’s how:

  • Schedule a donation to occur now through the end of Amplify Austin (March 6, 6 pm) –
  • Take and SHARE our Water Safety Quiz at
  • Follow our social media channels for year-round water safety education and information to help keep you and your family safer: @colinshope on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook


Wimberley ISD Highlights Water Safety with Colin & Friends

Thank you to Hays Free Press for a great article about the Prekindergarten program at Scudder Primary School in Wimberley, TX.

The article highlights the YMCA of Austin Project SAFE program that includes the Colin’s Hope Water Safety with Colin & Friends curriculum. What a great partnership with the Springs Branch YMCA in Dripping Springs and Wimberley ISD. Colin’s Hope is proud to be reaching so many families and children with life-saving water safety education and swim lessons.

Colin’s Hope Enters New Partnership with Bright by Text

Colin’s Hope is excited to enter a new partnership with Bright by Text, a division of Bright by Three. Bright by Text provides quality information and trusted resources to parents and caregivers of children prenatal to five. Available in English and Spanish, the messages are comprised of research-based content from Bright by Three and their partners.

Colin’s Hope is proud to join Bright by Text as a Content Partner, and will be providing essential water safety and drowning prevention messages to the organization. The first of several messages will be sent soon – don’t miss out! Sign up for Bright by Text so that you can receive life-saving drowning prevention tips and other important resources for your family today!

Colin’s Hope encourages caregivers to teach before it’s too late

Thank you to Arezow Doost and KXAN News, the The CW Austin for sharing our water safety messages as much as possible this summer. Please watch, share, and have a conversation about water safety with your kids, friends, and families. DROWNING IS PREVENTABLE.




June 12, 2019 – Austin, Texas – It’s only the beginning of summer but Texas has already lost 39 children to fatal drownings this year- including 3 children in Travis County and 2 in Williamson County in the last month. Many more have survived non-fatal drowning incidents. Children across Texas have drowned in backyard pools, apartment pools, community pools, hotel pools, bathtubs, ponds, hot tubs, rivers, lakes, beaches and even buckets. Last year, 91 Texas children fatally drowned, the equivalent of 2 FULL SCHOOL BUSES of children. These drownings are fast, silent and preventable and we must do something NOW to stop drownings.

June 13th marks the 11th Anniversary of the drowning of 4 year old Austinite, Colin Holst in a life guarded pool. Colin’s Hope was formed in his honor with the simple mission to raise water safety awareness to prevent children from drowning. Colin’s Hope, a Central Texas-based nonprofit organization is a trusted water safety and drowning prevention resource locally, statewide and nationally.

Drowning is the number 1 cause of unintentional death for children under 5 and a leading cause of death for ages 1-14. However, drowning is preventable. Colin’s Hope challenges Central Texans to visit to take their online water safety quiz and become a Water Guardian for Texas children. Just as we teach our children not to touch a hot stove, or to wear seatbelts or look both ways before crossing the street- we MUST teach them to be safer around water. We must also equip parents and caregivers with the knowledge they need to keep their families safe around water all year round by promoting/sharing our resources.

Jeff Holst, Colin’s dad and Co-founder of Colin’s Hope states, “We now know that drowning is preventable. We chose to honor Colin’s life every day by helping prevent other families from going through what we did. No one should ever lose a child to something that is preventable. We want to remind families to please be safe around water. NO ONE is DROWNPROOF- regardless of your socioeconomic level, your race, your ethnicity, your age or even your swimming ability.”

Alissa Magrum, Executive Director of Colin’s Hope states, “This message is for everyone! We must talk about water safety with our children when they are very young. We must do simple things like assigning an undistracted adult to always watch children – even when we do not plan to be in or around water, learning to swim, WEARING U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets, installing multiple barriers around water and learning CPR. Let’s create a revolution of Water Guardians by having a conversation changing our behavior to be safer around water. We can prevent drowning incidents and save lives. Not One More child should drown.”

Colin’s Hope Contact
Alissa Magrum, Executive Director
(512) 294-3910