In honor of exemplary humanitarian efforts to end childhood drowning, Christopher and Matthew Hales have each been presented the prestigious President’s Volunteer Service Lifetime Achievement Award. Conferred by President Barack Obama, the award recognizes Chris and Matt’s individual contribution of more than 4,000 volunteer hours toward “…building a stronger Nation through volunteer service.”
Accidental childhood drowning claims the lives of two children every day in America and 320,000 lives annually worldwide. Since creating their nonprofit charitable corporation Goggles for Guppies in 2011, Chris and Matt have distributed more than 20,000 new swimsuits, swim caps and goggles to domestic and international programs dedicated to providing basic life-saving swimming skills to underprivileged, at-risk children. Basic swimming skills are the antidote to accidental drowning and through Goggles for Guppies, Chris and Matt have eliminated a formidable financial barrier for thousands of underprivileged children and their families.
President Obama wrote, “In my Inaugural Address, I stated that we need a new era of responsibility – a recognition on the part of every American that we have duties to ourselves, our Nation, and the world. These are duties that we do not grudgingly accept, but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit than giving our all to a difficult task. Your volunteer service demonstrates the kind of commitment to your community that moves America a step closer to its great promise…Thank you for your devotion to service and for doing all you can to shape a better tomorrow for our great Nation.”