CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission (CCPRC) and the Parklands Foundation have created a new campaign to raise money for drowning prevention, which includes swimming instruction, construction and maintenance of pools in three rural areas of Charleston County.
The Parklands Foundation, a non-profit component of CCPRC, has launched a campaign called "Swim For It" to raise funds for its Genesis Project.
The Parklands Foundation is setting up voluntary donation sites at Charleston County waterparks this summer, which include Whirlin' Waters Adventure Waterpark at Wannamaker County Park in North Charleston; Splash Zone at James Island County Park; and Splash Island at Palmetto Islands County Park in Mount Pleasant.
Donations will be used in the construction, maintenance, and ongoing pool operational expenses in each of the rural areas of Johns Island, McClellanville and Hollywood/Ravenel.
Officials say the drowning rate in Charleston County is triple in the rural areas than where it's more populated.
That's why they're attacking it in those areas.
A nonprofit 501(c) (3) organization, The Parklands Foundation was created in May1990 by CCPRC to generate funding for the continued growth and development of the county park system, and to support increased leisure opportunities for residents.
The "Swim For It" campaign is a part of the Genesis Project, established in 2014 after the tragic drowning of a 13-year-old boy named Genesis Holmes.
"He didn't know how to breathe. He didn't know how to kick with his feet. He didn't know how to pull the water with his arm. So I know, right now, that my baby didn't have a chance to survive at all," Jennifer Holmes, Genesis' mother, said.
The feeling of losing her son has propelled Holmes forward in making sure no other parent has to go through this.
"It gives me that drive even more to go out here and tell the world how important it is to learn how to swim," Holmes added.
The project's vision is to eliminate the number of drowning victims in Charleston County by providing the community with access to pools for swimming lessons, water safety classes, recreational programming and leisure activities.
According to the Center for Disease Control, 10 people die every day in the United States from unintentional drowning; of those, two are children ages 14 or younger. Fatal drowning is the fifth-leading cause of unintentional injury-related deaths for children 14 and younger.
The goal is to raise $25,000 to go toward the new pools.
For more information or to make a donation to the Genesis Project, visit www.TheParklandsFoundation.org.