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Dive Pirates Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Centers to Support the Independence of Specific Populations, Human Services

Mission: To train and equip disabled persons for scuba diving.

Programs: Purchased equipment for adaptive diving & provided travel assistance for adaptive dive training.

Community Stories

27 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Becoming part of this organization has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Seeing the sponsored divers excelling at their skills while enjoying the beauty and peace of the underwater world, along with the comradery on land, is extremely humbling. I am lucky to have gained new friends and really become part of a new family!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a paraplegic diver who already knew how to dive when I first contacted Dive Pirates over ten years ago. The reason I sought them out is because they could provide certification that other Dive Organizations could not- certification in Dive Propulsion Vehicles (DPVs). As someone who can't use my legs at all, using a DPV is very important to me. I had been using one regularly already but still needed the certification and Dive Pirates was available; the only organization ready to step up and train me. After completing that training with them, I stayed with them and continued to participate in their events. The more time I spent with them, the more I learned; the more various specialties I completed. As recently as last year they were instrumental in enabling me to complete a level of certification I thought was out of reach- Master Diver. The benefit to me is more than just another type of "C" card. (Though I have accumulated many with them.) When I find myself in a dive situation where I'm the most experienced diver around, I know what to do, how to lead, how to communicate, how to prioritize. Just last month that type of situation arose and had a great outcome, largely because of all the training I've completed with them. Ten plus years with Dive Pirates has been great for me. I can never repay what that organization has done for me but I will continue to try. On a side note, I have been diving with a wide variety of handicapped scuba organizations over that same span of time. Dive Pirates is head and shoulders above the rest because of their focus. The handi-diver is their focus, not enriching themselves in any way. When I donate cash to this organization, I am sure that the money is used as intended.

Previous Stories
5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a paraplegic Navy Vet, I sought out additional training when I first became scuba certified. That was almost ten years ago. I am so glad I stumbled across this group early in my scuba endeavors. They are knowledgeable, fun, prepared, organized and most importantly- SAFE. They focus on getting recently injured combat Vets in the water, diving. No one does it better. There are other handi-diver groups out there, and God bless them all, but each has a unique spin. Each group reflects the desires of the volunteers who make it happen and with this group, it is five stars all around. The success and leadership they have achieved in their personal and professional lives carries right over into how they set the stage for these Vets to have success; such success that it really qualifies as "scuba therapy." It has for me. I've also been told by the newer guys that I've helped over the years that they saw me as a role model- Wow! What goes around comes around!

Review from Guidestar

1

Donor

Rating: 5

My wife and I have been members and supporters of Dive Pirates going on five years now. We've done four trips to The Brac with them and enjoy seeing the smiles on the Adaptive Divers' faces both above and below water. Don't tell them what they can't do; let them show you what they can.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Dive Pirates have forever changed my life. That was a week I will never forget. So much more than I could have imagined. They have made the impossible possible !! Everyone involved with the Pirates are so incredibly compassionate and sincere. Just People helping people enjoy life in ways that would not have been possible without the Dive Pirates. We made three dives a day two before lunch one after lunch. The organizing and planning of the trip was spot on. The Dive pirates have opened my eyes to a whole new world, and for that I am forever grateful.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This was my first experience with dive pirates in Cayman Brac. I was with a Quad that had limited use of arms and legs. This experience was life changing for not only this individual but myself. The total freedom that he had underwater is beyond words. The smile on his face after the first and every dive was amazing and gave me a wonderful and warm feeling inside. It also provided me with valuable information that I will be able to share with others that are interested in this organization. There first priority is safety for everyone involved. I am looking forward to working with them again next year.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a Vietnam war era veteran, who became paralyzed for no apparent reason, 3 years ago. My life turned upside down. The disease I have is called Transverse Myelitis. Just turning 65, I felt like my options were limited, having become an incomplete quadriplegic. My wife and I heard about The Dive Pirate Foundation, and decided to apply. We were so happy to be chosen, but also hoping we could rise to the occasion. It turned into a life changing experience. The people that we have worked with in the Foundation have been so helpful and enthusiastic for our success! We just went on our trip to Cayman Brac, and the trip of a lifetime! We have returned with such a sense of accomplishment, a love for scuba diving, and the undersea world. Thank you Dive Pirates for this wonderful gift!!!

1 Jean-Paul L.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Th absolute BEST Organization I have ever worked with! I'm a veteran disabled from a parachute landing in 2006. One of the best things about the Dive Pirates is how open they are to a broad mix of disabled divers. We had a young girl on our boat disabled and in a wheel chair, older Vietnam vets, and I found by mixing all together, each gained something great and surprising.

I'm not a great fan of non-profits that limit their members to a certain War or classification. By being an all inclusive group sharing in the joys of diving, we are all winners!

I can't say enough about the dedication of the Dive Pirates volunteers, they are amazingly organized, and strive to make it better each year!

I rate the Dive Pirates 6 Stars for above and beyond any expected duty!! jp

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Dive Pirates Foundation changes lives and they do it in a positive, fun, goofy way that immediately makes anyone and everyone feel welcome and at ease. Not only did they open my best friend's eyes to a world that he previously thought was inaccessible to him, but they did so in a way that changed my (able-bodied) life forever too. My experience with the Foundation from start to finish has been exceptional. The business model is sound, their network is vast, and the leadership is passionate and professional. It is an honor to know such a group and I would highly recommend working with them without reservation. You're also sure to have a blast while changing lives!

Review from Guidestar

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a recipient, I had a great experience with Dive Pirates! They ensured I had the proper equipment and training to successfully dive with them and on my own. Everyone involved with the foundation has been amazing and I recommend them to anyone with a disability and a desire to dive.

Review from Guidestar

4 Daniel106

Client Served

Rating: 5

What a wonderful organization! I am one of many that they have paid for me to be trained and certified scuba diving. they also paid for all equipment that I needed. after I was certified, they sponsored my trip to cayman islands for great diving adventures! wonderful people, wonderful organization!

Review from Guidestar

4 Katheryn H.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I will start out with I am a disabled Gulf War Veteran. I am paralyzed from the waist down. Dive Pirates is the best organization I have associated with including the Veterans Administartion. I had to go through the process twice and Dive Pirates had no problems with it. My wife had a hard time with the diving process and decided she is not a diver. Dive Pirates worked with us to return her gear and wait till the following year once my son turned 18 so he can be my dive buddy. I am so looking forward to the trip and I will continue to dive as long as I can breath, now I can breath under water because Dive Pirates gave me that opportunity.

Review from Guidestar

3 Stephen54

Client Served

Rating: 5

Dive Pirates helped me get PADI certified for Scuba, and even got me all of my own free gear! I go scuba diving whenever I am in a good scuba spot now; something I never would have tried before I met the Dive Pirates!

7

Client Served

Rating: 5

I qualified to go on the '14 Cayman Brac trip. Wonderful! They were extremely professional and I felt very safe during training with affiliate dive shop, Diventures in Omaha, NE, and in the crystal clear Brac waters. Furthermore, the army of trained, dive enthusiast volunteers associated with DivePirates.org were there to assist getting my heavy self on the boat, going down with me when needed and giving "some back" making jokes and otherwise engaging in mischevious pirate behavior. They inspired me to do more to give back and have hope for accomplishing future goals. -- ***** stars AND some pirate "hand signs"

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A wonderful group of dedicated, committed and fun people. I'm happy and proud to be part of the Dive Pirates foundation, as a volunteer and adaptive dive buddy. I have been part of 3 trips. Each time I met someone new who shared their amazing story with me. Diving has become a big part of my life, best decision I have ever made. As a friend of the co founders, and some of the board members, I can only congratulate and support their amazing work.

Review from Guidestar

7 Christoper H.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

They change my life, and made me what I am today. There's not a better group in the world. My door and resource are alway on the table for Thea's big kids.


73s

Review from Guidestar

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hello! I am a volunteer for Dive Pirates and I have been involved for 4 years now. I volunteer every year at the Dive Pirates Ball. And every year, I am amazed at what this organization does for people all around the world. The impact truly transcends generations of families in what it gives back. The value of life that these individuals get back after a horrific accident or experience demonstrates what an impact this group makes. It has touched the lives of everyone that becomes a volunteer, sponsor or donor. I am honored to have come across such a unique and fun organization that gives back time and time again. The time and energy that the entire staff puts in is relentless and they do so without needing any recognition or reward. I think most people have come to a point in their life where they truly believed it couldn’t get any worse, Dive Pirates pulls those lost souls to shore and gives them a new family and a new thirst for life and all there is to experience below the water. I personally hope to bring knowledge to others that love to scuba dive and show them how they can intertwine their personal activities and help someone in the process. I hope you will consider getting involved, becoming certified and join our crew for the next adventure!

-Laurel Flores
Loyal Pirate Wench

Review from Guidestar

6 Raymond9

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hi my name is Raymond Hernandez I was this years dive pirates recipeant for the Kona Hawaii trip. This is a great foundation who helps disabled people learn scuba. From day one they have been there teaching me to dive witch I had no previous experience then taking me on this great trip so I could get my open water certificate. They are truly great people who I can't thank enough from a new diver I'm hooked.

Review from Guidestar

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In the totality of human existence, there is nothing so gratifying as providing for another's need especially when they have no idea that need existed. As a diver, sharing the underwater world with others is incredible, but sharing it with someone who is told it is a luxury they will never attain is something else entirely. Seeing the pure, unadulterated joy in the faces of those people when they first dive is priceless; but many also find a renewed sense of independence, self-worth, and freedom from pain and suffering for the first time since whatever tragedy limited their mobility! When they realize that the DPF is not telling them "No" based arbitrarily on an injury but emphatically "YES!" based on their abilities, these individuals start seeing their lives as possibilities and not as losses! So what does the DPF do for these individuals...? We enable them to teach US how to live like the fully engaged and capable human beings that they are! To every person who has ever seen the world afresh through the eyes of a child, imagine how much more intense that would be coming from someone who was taught to believe that much of the world was unattainable and life would be forever full of pain and loss. Imagine knowing that that person could tell you how amazing life truly is in this world except that the whole of the experience completely takes away their gift of language. Now, maybe, you will start to understand our mission, and why it is so vital. It is not about us , though we are inextricably affected by the vocation; it is about reaffirming the wonder in our world and our society through those who are often looked upon as damaged goods... making the humble our exhalted prophets.

Review from Guidestar

6

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I was brand new with ScubaDoRag in the scuba industry when Barbara Thompson shared this unique idea she and Sophie had. It is such a pleasure to see them grow and pull in top notch talent - nothing but the highest good here and the utmost integrity. Arrgghh :-)

Review from Guidestar

6 Swashbucklinpirate

Board Member

Rating: 5

It has been a privilege to serve others through the Dive Pirates Foundation! With an idea that grew out of a passion for diving among close friends, we were able to accomplish more than our wildest dreams could imagine for persons with disabilities. We are continuing to expand our horizons with our partner in the diving industry, Scuba Schools International (SSI), as we plan for international expansion with their new digital online course programming. Thank you to our ardent and loyal business partners, donors, volunteers and students for believing in us!

Review from Guidestar

7

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am one of 3 co founders of this organization, and the greatest joy to me outside of the people that we help, is the porfessionalism and caring of our entire Officers and Board of Directors. They are all engaged, active, and supportive of one another. This creates an atmosphere of collegiality that is easily recognizable to potential donors and to our recipients. Our changing lives of people with disability has also changed the lives of our Board.

7 bracreefdiver

Board Member

Rating: 5

My participation with Dive Pirates Foundation both as a volunteer and as a board member has been the most rewarding experience of my life.

I have learned that diving is not just an incredible sport that I love, but that enjoying it while helping others infinitely more fulfilling. I was asked recently, “What does it feel like when you enter the water with classified divers? My response instantaneously poured out of my mouth without thought or hesitation:

The second our fins touch the water, everything goes away except that captured moment. Our minds becomes clear. All of our problems on land disappear. In fact, everything above water becomes nonexistent. And for the next 40-60 minutes, I am privileged to watch and help individuals who on land have limited mobility experience something that is breath taking. They become free from their wheel chairs; free from the restrictions and limitations they face on land. We are all inspired with a renewed spirit for life and everything that can be accomplished.

Simply brilliant.

Review from Guidestar

6

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Providing an outlet for our disabled veterans such as scuba diving is an awesome avenue for these folks to further their lives and give them something they can do the rest of their lives.

Review from Guidestar

6 CaroleMermaid

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Dive Pirates by far exceeds the expectations of their clientele! We here at Phoenix Scuba & Water Sports Inc. have been working with Dive Pirates for 10 years now, and they never cease to amaze!! We have been privileged to take 2 trips to Cayman Brac with them, to complete the certification of our Classified divers. On both occasions, the diving was excellent, but the staff and service at Brac Reef Resort and Reef Divers went beyond the normal call of duty to assist our Veterans to become fully certified divers. (The staff went through extensive training on the handling do's & don'ts for the Classified divers they would be encountering.)
When someone comes into a dive shop in a wheel chair, or with crutches, canes, or a prosthesis, the thought of training that person to Scuba dive is not the first impulse - Unless you know the Dive Pirates!!
We Pirates are scattered all across these United States, find out who is closest to you and come on in, the water is fine!!!

Review from Guidestar

6 Amy_146

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our family became involved with Dive Pirates Foundation a few years ago when we joined a dive trip. My husband is now on the board and our daughters have loved every trip that we have gone on with Dive Pirates. It just isn't your ordinary dive trip. It becomes a dive family! Everyone accepts everyone for who and where they are. There are no secrets on a dive boat! There is lots of fun and they even accept spa divers and snorklers in the group too. We care about giving the adaptive and first time divers the best experiences.

Review from Guidestar

5

Board Member

Rating: 5

Dive Pirates is an organization that I passionately support. I have been involved with the organization since its inception and I have been on each of the the Dive Pirate trips with adaptive divers. I have talked with many recipients who report that this was a life changing experience for them. Being involved with Dive Pirates Foundation has enabled me to be a part of helping a lot of adaptive divers.... which has been a life changing experience for me.

Review from Guidestar