Swim for the Philippines Explained

Details on Team’s Fundraiser for Save the Children

On Wednesday, November 27, the Water Rat Swim Team will gather together at the Family Y for Swim for the Philippines, a five-hour event to raise money for Save the Children’s Typhoon Haiyan relief fund. Swimmers who are 8 and under will swim as many laps as they can in 30 minutes. Swimmers who are 9 and over will push themselves to see how many laps they can swim in 60 minutes. (Click for schedule.)

Last year, this test of skill would not have been possible. In November 2012, the Water Rats had no place to practice and no place to host swim meets. The Family Y was closed because of Superstorm Sandy. We didn’t know if the building would ever reopen. But the property damage, inconvenience and uncertainty that we experienced in 2012 pales in comparison to the death, destruction and despair caused by Super Typhoon Haiyan. According to Philippine authorities, more than 11 million people have been affected by the typhoon.

This Thanksgiving we want to do more than feel fortunate; we want to help the millions of children who are at risk in the Philippines. That is why we are asking all Water Rats to spend the week before Thanksgiving asking family and friends to donate to Save the Children, one of the world’s leading independent organizations for children – which happens to be based in Westport.

Swimmers should use a contributor sheet from the Swim for the Philippines PDF package to record donations. The sheets can be turned in during Swim for the Philippines or during practice over Thanksgiving weekend. But all contributor sheets and donors’ checks (which must be made to “Save the Children”) are due no later than practice on Monday, December 2, 2013.

We created a web page on Crowdrise, a fundraising site for charity that was started by Edward Norton. You can ask people to donate online at Crowdrise.com/swimforthephilippines. Water Rat families and senior swimmers (13/over) can register on Crowdrise and join our team. This will allow you to solicit donations directly through your page.

But whether you ask people to donate online or by check, you should know that during Swim for the Philippines we will acknowledge our top 16 fundraisers. And we’ll present the top 16 with thank you gifts after Thanksgiving. (Why 16? We’re a swim team after all.)

This is the third time in eight years that the Water Rat Swim Team has raised money for Save the Children. In 2005, the team held a swim for Asian Tsunami relief, which raised $19,000. In 2010, the Water Rats and Staples Swimming held a Swim for Haiti, which raised more than $45,000. Every Water Rat participated in those earlier events. We hope this year will be no different.