The Joshua Collingsworth Foundation began with the tragic death of 2 year old Joshua Collingsworth as the result of a water mishap. Joshua's parents began the Foundation and the "Josh the Otter" program in the hope of preventing parents and families for having to bear the sadness that they have. As a result, the "josh the Otter" water safety program was developed. A book, signs, educational materials and events bring the water safety message to everyone reinforcing the idea that NO child goes near water without an adult. The program further educates parents to teach their toddlers to "float first". Teaching toddlers to float even before they are taught to swim will give them one more survival skill in the event that they do go near water.
As a traffic safety professional that has worked with the not for profit community for many years, I can attest to the fact that the Joshua Collingsworth Memorial Foundation is a well run organization. With a primary mission of water safety for young children, I have seen first hand the benefits that toddlers are getting not only from the "Josh the Baby Otter" book, but the Float First classes that are being funded by the Foundation. The couple that began and run the organization after the loss of their own toddler, have shown remarkable dedication, commitment and passion in the hope of preventing any more tragic losses like theirs. As far as fiscal responsibility, it is excellent. Any donations or funding received is used to off- set production costs so that books can be given away to many communities that could not afford to purchase them. No funding is used for overhead or administrative fees, so 100% goes directly to services or educational purposes. I would recommend supporting this Foundation to anyone-it works!
My children have benefited from the Float4Life swim classes this organization funds through the local YMCA. My 2 year old now rolls over onto his back & reaches for the side of the pool without prompting. My 4 year old is way ahead of other children in his swim classes thanks to taking part in this program first. The book is entertaining & provides a memorable message to children about water safety. My children can quote passages out of the book! The mascot is adorable & a great role model for children. I cannot say enough wonderful things about this organization! The founders suffered a tragic loss & have selflessly turned that grief into a crusade to save the lives of other children through this great educational program. I highly recommend supporting this cause!