What should I know for Event Day?

Parking: There will be another big event using the MHS parking lot on 4/6, so please carpool, and be prepared to find street parking if needed.

Arrival: Please arrive 45-60 minutes before your wave begins to allow time for check-in and team photos. Little Freedom Swimmers will swim their lap about 10 minutes before each wave begins.

Volunteers: We still need volunteers, so please sign up if you're able. Volunteers, you will find a Volunteer Check In table in the pool lobby where you can get details about your role.

What to Bring: Please print, fill out, and bring this Pledge Info Card for each swimmer (or we'll give you one when you arrive). This will help us keep tabs on our fundraising totals as the swimmers' laps go up! Also bring goggles, towels, water bottle, and energy!

T-shirts: We will allow t-shirts to be exchanged or bought ($10) as long as we have extras.

Ethical Trade Company will be selling beautiful fair trade products on the pool deck!

What is included in my registration fee?

You will receive a t-shirt (made by rescued women in India through Freeset!), swim cap, food (Chick-fil-A, Yola's Cafe, etc.) and a great goodie bag at the event, not to mention being part of something awesome!

How do I raise pledges?

Tell everyone what you're up to! Use this pledge sheetto keep track of the people you've talked with. Some donors choose to give a flat amount before the event, while others like to motivate swimmers with per-lap pledges (e.g. $1 per lap for a particular swimmer. Donations are given through our IJM campaign pages (visit our Sponsor Swimmers page) and go directly to IJM, a non-profit organization, so donations are tax-deductible.

Where are the Kickoff resources?

Here you go:
IJM: Fighting to End Slavery. For Good. (This video is a helpful overview of IJM's work to end slavery.)
The Deep Place: Foli's Story (video)
Born Free: Thaiyamma's Story (video)
Caroline and Ellen's Event Details and Fundraising Tips (PDF)
Fundraising Tips from Freedom Swimmers! (video)
Pledge sheet (PDF) - Take it with you everywhere!
Business cards (PDF) - Cut and hand out to potential sponsors
IJM Fact Sheet (PDF) - Print and share with your sponsors so they can see that IJM is awesome!

Is my registration transferrable/refundable?

Sure -- if you decide not to swim, please try to find a substitute swimmer! If you can't find a sub, we'll refund your registration, up to 7 days before the event.

Do I have to fundraise to be part of this event?

No. Fundraising is totally at the discretion of each swimmer/family. But we're fundraising to end slavery... we do hope you'll at least ask a few people!

What forms of donations will you accept?

Donations may be made by credit card (online) or check. If you receive cash from a donor, please keep the cash and write an equivalent check to IJM. Checks may be mailed in (mark with swimmer's name and "Freedom Swim" on the memo line; mail to International Justice Mission, PO Box 96961, Washington, DC 20090-6961) or handed to us on event day.

Do I have to bring a printed ticket to the event?

No. We'll check you in by name when you arrive, but you do need to be registered in advance.

What happens if our team doesn't find enough swimmers?

If you can't find 6 or more swimmers, we will do our best to help you form a team. 6 is the minimum to qualify for team prizes, to help us offset event costs. We reserve the right to move swimmers between teams as needed, although we'll do our best to keep you with your peeps! If you wind up swimming with a team of less than 6, that is still ok, and your efforts are just as important.

Can my parent or friend volunteer to help with the event?

Absolutely! It takes about 70 volunteers on event day to make Freedom Swim happen. Parents will see a place in the registration to offer to help us out. Friends can contact us anytime about volunteering. We give a shirt to each volunteer, too!

What are the rules for swimmers?

Swimmers are allowed to use paddles, flotation, wetsuits, kickboards. No diving, no running, no flippers. Food is allowed in the lobby area of the pool but not on deck. At least one swimmer must remain in the lane during the entire 2 hours in order to qualify for team prizes. Have fun!

Are spectators allowed to stand by the lanes?

Sure, as long as it doesn't become too hard for swimmers and lap counters to move around -- just be considerate of others in this regard.

What should swimmers do when they need a break?

Hop out of the water but stay by your lane whenever you can. Of course bathroom breaks are necessary sometimes! Cold? There's free hot chocolate in the lobby for swimmers, or... just start swimming again!

Would leaving early disqualify a swimmer from the team prizes?

No, as long as someone from the team is still swimming until the end of your wave.

What about food?

Food is not allowed on the pool deck, so it needs to stay in the lobby or outside. Cups with lids are allowed on deck. Swimmers can take turns with teammates going to the lobby for a quick snack provided for them at 11:00 (First Wave), 1:15 (Second Wave), or 3:30 (Third Wave). After each wave, there will be a meal (provided by Yola's Cafe and Chick-fil-A) in the lobby for each swimmer.

What is the cut-off for donations?

Online donations and checks received before 4/13/19 at 9:00pm will be counted toward the prizes. Checks and online donations received from then until 5/30 will be part of the Freedom Swim campaign total but not counted toward team prizes.

Can swimmers under age 6 swim?

Yes! Siblings ages 3-6 are invited to join our "Little Freedom Swimmers" team! Each will swim one lap, assisted by a parent/adult, before the main event begins. Little Freedom Swimmers can fundraise, but pay no registration fee (and therefore would need to purchase a t-shirt). One year's LFS team raised $915 for IJM!! Contact us if your child is interested in being a Little Freedom Swimmer (no registration required).