Swim with a Mission Team
For the fifth year in a row, Thom Pear, and his team of endurance swimmers are braving the waters around Key West, Florida, to raise funds for the Haven of Hope (HOH) Orphanage in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. They are passionate about helping the children at HOH orphanage learn computer skills that will help to provide them a vocation so that they will become successful independent adults. This year they hope to raise $5,000 to buy much-needed computers for the orphanage. 100% of all donations received will go to fund this program.
Chiqui Zabala and Heather Roko are back again to swim this year. They have been great role models for the girls at the orphanage over the years. Chiqui has a background in swimming, competing for the Columbian National Swim Team. “I sure some of the Haven of Hope children, with God’s help, will follow their footsteps,” said Thom referring to Chiqui and the other female swimmers who are daring to take on this challenge.
Joining them are Tori Page, Julia Wreski, and Megan Corredor. On June 16, 2018, they will be swimming in the Annual Swim Around Key West Marathon. The swim is long and difficult, a distance of 12 .5 miles. However, the team thinks that it is even more difficult being an orphan, and so they brave the waters.
For many orphans, when they turn 18, they must leave the orphanage and enter the workforce. Without skills, there is a high probability that they will return to the streets and a life of poverty. The alarming statistics are that 60-70% of orphans aging out, will turn to a life of crime to survive, and 10% commit suicide.
The team has swum and raised funds for HOHI for four years and have met their fundraising goal each time. This year the needs are BIG, and they are determined to raise $5,000. Team members are committed to train hard and to swim even harder for HOHI to achieve this. 100% of the money raised will be used to purchase much-needed computers for their flagship orphanage in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.
HOHI programs help prepare orphaned children for the workforce, teaching them a vocation that will support them in independent living. The computers are a part of HOHI’s Computer Training Program that teaches the children necessary computer skills for their overall development and advances their ability to compete in the academic and vocational arena.
The team’s story is an excellent example of what individuals can do to make a significant impact in the lives of children that have no natural family support. Their efforts and determination speak volumes to children who escaped abuse and abandonment. These swimmers are real-life heroes to the children.