Not many people can say that they have swam around Manhattan Island and alongside the famous New York skyline. For long distance swimmer Angel More, swimming is not just a competitive sport but also a way for her to make a difference in the world. More, a senior at Menlo School, has raised $60,000 over the past five years for children in need through competing in open water swimming.
She completed the 20 Bridges Swim this past month, a 28.5 mile swim around Manhattan Island. Since her first open water swim at Alcatraz in 2014, More has been regularly competing in long distance swimming events to raise funds for Children International, a non-profit that helps children escape from the cycle of poverty.
Through the organization, donors are able to sponsor children, making it possible for them to receive essential needs such as medical care and education. More was introduced to Children International by her parents, who are currently sponsors of nine children.
“I learned about the non-profit because my parents sponsored a girl right when I was born,” More said. “I kind of grew up with the girl and she has always been a big part of my life. Since then, our family has continued to sponsor more and more kids.”
Last month, More launched Angel’s Hope, a two-year campaign that aims to raise $1 million for Children International’s Hope scholarship fund. The money she raises from swimming will go into supporting 5,000 kids to further their education, whether it be high school, college or technical school.
“Right now, we are just in the beginning so I’m first trying to get to $25,000,” More said. “I hope to use that money to try to jumpstart the campaign and get big sponsors to join on.”
To prepare for her open water events, More wakes up at 3:30 a.m. everyday and swims from 4:30-6:30 a.m. before school. Although swimming for hours on end can get boring, More has started to appreciate it, as she is able to temporarily escape from her hectic life.
“The swims can definitely get boring at times since I just swim for hours and hours,” More said. “However, I’ve been doing this for a while now and I’ve started to like how it’s similar to meditation since I don’t have to think about anything at all. Essentially, it’s ‘me time.’”
In addition to the 20 Bridges Swim, More has completed the California Triple Crown of marathon swimming, which consists of the 20-mile Catalina Channel, 12-mile Santa Barbara Channel and 13-mile Lake Tahoe.
“One of my favorite parts about open water swimming is that I am able to see places from a completely different perspective,” More said. “For instance, at the 20 Bridges Swim, it was so cool to see all the tall skyscrapers from the water. There was one point where I could see the traffic and I was literally going faster than the cars.”
Her next open water event is on Aug. 30 at Estero Bay, a 14 mile swim, in San Luis Obispo. Once the campaign comes to an end, More hopes to continue raising awareness and money for Children International in college and beyond.
“From having my parents sponsor nine children, I have really seen the impact Children International can have,” More said. “I definitely want to continue supporting because it's a really good cause and and they could use all the help it gets.”
(Follow More via her online blog. A link to her fund-raising events can be found there.)