Untitled1Swimways Corp., a leading outdoor recreational products manufacturer, celebrated raising more than $900,000 for charity organization Operation Smile. Over the last six years, Swimways has created nearly 5,000 smiles around the world.

Packaging for the SwimWays Swim Steps product line has highlighted Swimways support for Operation Smile since 2007. Swim Steps packaging also includes a donation brochure insert featuring a special message from Swimways Corp. President David Arias, inviting consumers to make direct contributions to Operation Smile. Swim Steps is a three-step program consisting of a line of floats and swim training gear for children. Swim Step 1 supports young children as they are introduced to the water, Swim Step 2 provides support as children explore the water and become more confident, and Swim Step 3’s graduated support gives parents a swim training system to empower their child in the water.

In addition to packaging and print support, Swimways also supports the charity online, with direct links from Swimways.com to the Operation Smile website, and via social media. Last April, Swimways launched a social media campaign with a Facebook challenge to benefit the charity, donating $2 for each new “like,” resulting in 11,000 new Operation Smile Facebook fans and a 171 percent increase in Facebook monthly revenue, funding 91 surgeries.

This year Operation Smile launched its 30th Anniversary celebration with the “change forever” campaign, featuring a year-long series of events in the U.S. and globally. Athlete Tony Hawk stars in an interactive film that can be viewed at www.wecanchangeforever.com. In the film, viewers can upload their smile through Facebook and watch as their smile travels around the world to help a child suffering from a facial deformity such as cleft lip and cleft palate. They are also asked to take a pledge to help create greater awareness for children suffering from facial deformities.

SwimWays Swim Steps, a product line created for swim development, includes the Swim Sweater, Sea Squirts Swim Assist Vest, and the Baby Spring Float. SwimWays Swim Steps products are available nationwide at Target, Walmart, Toys “R” Us, Leslies’ Pool Supplies, and other retailers.