Asking Your Help to Make More Life Jackets Available

23 Dec 2016
2015-16 - Appeal
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Asking Your Help to Make More Life Jackets Available

As difficult as this is to write, two years ago a 5-year-old boy lost his life because he didn’t have a life jacket. While visiting Buffalo River National Park, a father and two sons asked a park guide at the Visitor Center where they could enjoy the day swimming. Park Guide Terry Traywick showed the family where they could swim and returned to her typical duties. A short time passed and she received a call requesting help for an unresponsive 5-year-old boy who had gone underwater for a long period of time. After administering CPR, the child was completely unresponsive, and he passed away before medical crews could arrive.

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Joyce Umbach

As we have seen, sometimes tragedies in life lead to solutions that solve future problems. Park Guide Terry Traywick decided this child’s death was a hard lesson to learn and if at all possible she didn’t want another person to experience the same tragedy. She worked with her Park Ranger Joyce Umbach and Deputy Superintendent to partner with the Sea Tow Foundation to implement the Life Jacket Loaner Program.

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Here’s the exciting part of this story that relates to you. Exactly one year later, a father approached Terry with two boys asking where to swim. This time, she not only showed them where to go, but also provided the children properly fitted lifejackets to make their day not only fun, but safe. Terry explained that through the loaner program the lifejackets are free of charge, and can be returned at the end of the day. Terry went back to her desk and had a moment of silence for the boy who lost his life almost one year ago to the day. She was thankful she had provided the safety needed for this family to enjoy their day.

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Because of you and other likeminded individuals who know the importance of life jackets, since 2008 35,000 personal floatation devices (PFDs) have been made available for men, women and children to borrow free of charge throughout the United States and its territories. On behalf of these individuals, thank you for helping to keep them safe, but there’s more that can be done.

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Today, we’re asking for your support. Our goal is to make 50 more life jacket loaner stands available for mothers, fathers, sons and daughters to borrow at no charge. You see, even though we helped over 15,000 people last year, there are still many more waterways in need of a life jacket loaner stand.

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That’s why our goal for this campaign is to raise $67,500 by January 31st. If we raise that amount, we’ll be able to provide and ship 50 more life jackets and stands than this time last year. We need your help to make it happen.

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Help us make 50 more life jacket loaner stands available for mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters to borrow life jackets nationwide at no charge.

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Would you be willing to make a special year-end donation of $25, $50, $100 or whatever you can afford to help us meet our goal and make 50 more life jacket loaner stand locations available?

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We simply can’t do it without you. Your support will make a real, lasting impact in the lives of those who are still in need.

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Please click the button below to make your donation now. Help us eliminate drowning by making life jackets available to more people.

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Thank you for your support.

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With Gratitude,
Michael Wesolowski,
Executive Director

Written by  Michael Wesolowski

Sea Tow Foundation Executive Director

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