Military and Police

‘Swim with a Mission’ is Raising Money for Veterans

This coming July, Swim with a Mission kicks off for the second straight year in New Hampshire. The event was started by Julie and Phil Taub, long time New Hampshire residents, and raised over $350,000 for charities that provide assistance to veterans in its first year. While they are not veterans themselves, they saw a need and used their combined skills to create a fun, exciting, and very different event to fulfill that need.

Julie and Phil have lived in New Hampshire for 23 years and during that time they have been actively involved in many community charities. During the 2016 Presidential Election, they attended a lot of town hall meetings with the group that they were involved with at the time. Every meeting they attended had at least one Veteran present who was involved and asking questions or trying to get help and resources. Julie and Phil grew to realize that New Hampshire had a lot of Veterans who were not receiving the aid that they needed and deserved, leaving their quality of life lacking.

Julie and Phil were greatly bothered by the awareness that the local communities and society overall were simply not doing enough to help and support these men and women who so freely served our country. They did some research and realized that there were plenty of organizations in New Hampshire that served Veterans, and that most of those organizations were well-targeted and well run. The problem was that these organizations were under-resourced and under-funded. They needed money.

Luckily, Julie and Phil have lots of experience raising money for charities. They decided that the creation of new and exciting events designed to raise awareness, honor Veterans, and energize the public while raising money would help fill the gap between the goals of organizations that were already established and the Veterans that were not receiving these resources due to underfunding.

They started small, deciding to work on just doing one event really well. As they reviewed their options, they considered the fact that New Hampshire already has numerous groups that raise money for charities through marathons and biking, but there weren’t any events for swimmers. They decided to hold an open water swimming event at Newfound Lake at Wellington State Park in New Hampshire. They would recruit swimmers to swim across Newfound Lake and raise money through social media and other sources ahead of time.

For those who haven’t been there, Newfound Lake is the cleanest lake in the Northeast USA. It is located in the beautiful lakes region of New Hampshire, and is one of the biggest lakes in the state at about 2.5 miles wide and 6 miles long. Like all the other lakes in New Hampshire, it is a beautiful and amazing place to visit and a great lake to go for a swim. Due to its depth, the water is comfortably cool in the summer, so it doesn’t get bathwater warm like a shallower lake would. It is also a great lake for kayaking.

Swim with a Mission had over 2,000 attendees and raised over $370,000 for Veterans in New Hampshire in its first year. This year, they hope to raise even more.

Swim with a Mission Newfound Lake
(Credit: Swim with a Mission, Inc.)

This year’s event is scheduled for July 14, 2018. Julie and Phil have managed to get the park reserved on Saturday this year, which should allow for increased attendance. Along with music, food, and fun for the whole family, there will be a group of Navy Seals who will come in and give an exciting demonstration of some of their training drills. It will be a day of festivities and celebration, all with a focus on honoring Veterans.

Swim with a Mission is inviting Veteran service organizations to come to the event and set up a booth to talk to the community and Veterans in attendance about the services they provide to help spread the news about what they do. They are also still looking for volunteers and swimmers. For those who don’t swim, there will be a kayaking and paddleboard option as well.

Julie and Phil have another event planned where attendees will be able to play paintball with Navy Seals, all in the spirit of raising money for our Veterans. Their goal for this year is to raise over a million dollars to support Veteran organizations in the community.

If you are interested in volunteering or donating, or just learning more about this incredible event, you can visit their website where they have information about charities that will receive money from the event, details for those who want to sign up to swim, and information on how to volunteer or donate. They also have information about how the event started, the planned paintball event, information about their sponsors, and pictures and testimonials from last year’s event.

Swim with a Mission Newfound Lake
(Credit: Swim with a Mission, Inc.)

“We started Swim with a Mission, Inc. because we needed to do something! We are frustrated and concerned that our veterans are being treated so poorly. Our veterans and their families have given so much and for some, made the ultimate sacrifice. Our veterans deserve more. We live in the land of the free and the home of the brave because of the brave.”

Anyone who is a Veteran or has worked with Veterans know this to be true, that often the resources made available to those who have sacrificed so much for our country are sadly lacking in their effectiveness. This is such an amazing mission and a great goal. When people fulfill a need like this in the way that Julie and Phil are doing, it helps to support Veterans everywhere, not just in New Hampshire.

Thank you, Julie, Phil, and all of the swimmers and volunteers for what you are doing to help our Veterans.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Chloe Longstreet

Chloe Longstreet comes from a long line of veterans on both sides of her family who have served in all of the different branches of the military. She is very supportive of those who have served the country, and passionate about ensuring veterans have access to the benefits and resources they deserve. She graduated from Columbia University in 2012 with a degree in political science and anthropology. Currently, she is devoted to helping people tell their stories and preserve their legacies by helping them write, edit, and publish their memoirs through her company, Awen Books and More.

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