Skip to main content

Help Us Save Lives with Water Safety

Investing in accessible, all-ages water safety programs is not a luxury but a necessity. 

Did you know that drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death, behind car accidents, for children ages 1 through 14?

Similar to our state’s educational opportunity gap, there is a drowning gap as well. Those belonging to BIPOC populations are three times more likely to die in a drowning accident than their white peers.

Economic status also plays a critical role, with 79% of children whose families have an annual household income of less than $50,000 possessing little to no swimming ability.

For over a century, the Y of the North has been combating these staggering statistics by offering carefully designed water safety programs that equip individuals of all ages and abilities with the skills they need to survive.

Through our Water Safety Fund, our donors support these programs, allowing us to evolve as the needs shift.

From increased water safety scholarships at our branches to free swim lessons offered at local community pools, donations are fueling systemic change – ensuring that everyone is equipped with these essential, life-saving skills.

I was afraid to even put my big toe in the water. The Y has been such a blessing to me. Now I don't have to be afraid. For me to do this goes beyond anything I could have ever imagined. I accomplished it, and it helped build my confidence again. It's been a journey. I'm still on it and I'm not going to stop!
Peggy, adult participant
Water Safety Icon - Droplet
We have the answer!

The likelihood of drowning is reduced by 88% upon completing a certified Y water safety program.

Our water safety classes are made even more accessible through partnerships with community pools across the state, putting these lifesaving programs within reach of more people of all ages and abilities at no cost. Youth also have the opportunity to participate in swimming lessons completely free of charge through the Y’s partnerships with several local school districts.

Water Safety Icon - Swimming
Our scope of work is huge

Over 24,000 people complete YMCA swimming classes annually through the Y of the North.

The YMCA’s nationally recognized swim curriculum is available for kids and adults of all ages at over 20 Y locations across Minnesota and Wisconsin. From infancy through adulthood, from learning survival basics to mastering stroke techniques, there is a carefully designed swim program that meets the needs and abilities of every community member.

Water Safety Icon - Safety
You can help remove barriers

Our organization provides over $80,000 in water safety scholarship funding every year!

Here at the Y, we don’t let costs or personal circumstances hinder learning critical water safety skills. Donor-supported financial assistance is available to every individual and family seeking swim classes.

Will You Join Us?

Your support allows us to continue leading the way in drowning prevention across our state (and beyond), by expanding access to our trusted water safety programs. Every donation to our Water Safety Fund helps us achieve this, and in doing so, SAVES LIVES.

Swim Lessons image

$50 provides swimming lessons for one person.

Pool image

$500 sponsors swimming lessons for ten people.

Dock image

$4,350 covers swimming lessons for an entire classroom.