I was attracted to Diveheart.org because our youngest son was born with a rare form of spina bifida. Thanks to some outstanding surgical interventions early on, he is able to walk and even run a bit, wearing a brace. But when he was learning to dive, we had to make some changes in how he did a few things--we were doing adaptive scuba, but just didn't know it! We stumbled across Diveheart and were profoundly moved by the work this organization is doing and the effect it has on participants. We saw it with our son in the water, and now as a Diveheart Adaptive Scuba Instructor, I get to see it often. Diveheart is a great organization that is run well, and makes a positive difference in the lives of adaptive divers. When you think of supporting Diveheart, don't think of it as helping someone go on vacation. Think of it as helping someone escape the prison of gravity to soar weightless and pain free in the freedom of the sea!
I first found out about Diveheart at the yearly Our World Underwater Dive Show. Being a dive instructor, I was very interested in what they were doing for the disabled, because my son is a paraplegic. The first event I volunteered for was an Autistism Symposium, and I saw the happy look on all of the faces of these children after they came out of the water, and with tears in my eyes I was hooked on this great organizations mission. Whether it's children, adults, or Vets, it's life changing for them and me. I've been volunteering now for a little more than three years, and this goodwill is spreading all over the world, thanks to the founder, Jim Elliot. I decided to become an H.S.A. (Handicapped Scuba Association) instructor because I believe deeply, as does the Diveheart Foundation, that we are Making Possibilities For Disabilities! worlddiver
I had the privilege of meeting Jim Elliott and other Diveheart Volunteers while covering a training course at the Caldwell Community Center in Caldwell, NJ for the Caldwell Patch. Jim's enthusiasm for scuba diving was contagious, and to see the positive impact Diveheart has made in the lives of Wounded Warriors and other people with disabilities was both an amazing and humbling experience.
This is the best organization I have ever had the pleasure doing business with. I had the please to shake the hand of Mr. Jim Elliott at one of their many, well organized fund raisers. God bless the men and women that make the DIVEHEART Foundation a success
What I like best about Diveheart is how it engages individuals of all ages and types of disabilities to experience the joy of scuba diving. When you are flying underwater, everyone is equal. Ocean critters are not known to practice discrimination against any particular group of scuba divers === be they able or disabled. One diver tastes just as good as another!
As a 63-year-old dive master I have been involved with Diveheart for the past several years. I am also past president of the American Association of Diving Program Administrators.(ADPA) This group is composed of dive safety officers from most of the public aquariums and marine parks in North America. in addition to working with members of our group,Diveheart has enabled many other organizations and nonprofits to help folks with disabilities all over the planet.I also was personally involved in facilitating the 1st blind and deaf diver in history on a dive trip in Cozumel 2 years ago. Spending a week with a diveheart team introducing divers with disabilities to the beauty , serenity, and adventure of diving was one of the high points in my 45 year diving career. You cannot overestimate the value of these experiences to the disabled divers or the divers fortunate enough to work with them. It was truly one of the most wonderful experiences of my life. If you love to dive, and use your skills for the good of others–volunteer with Diveheart. it can and will change your life.