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LIFEWATERS

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Military & Veterans Organizations, Sports, Swimming & Other Water Recreation, Veterans

Mission: LifeWaters is a 501 (c)(3) organization which promotes independence, inclusion, adventure, and healing for Veterans and Civilians with mobility impairments by providing camaraderie, training, and certification in adaptive scuba diving for divers and dive partners. LifeWaters Adaptive Scuba program is designed to help improve the lives of our paralyzed and disabled Veterans by offering discover scuba and scuba certifications through Scuba Diving International (SDI) (Scubility Program) as part of recreational water therapy. The program is run by dedicated staff volunteers to include SCI therapists, doctors, nurses, veterans and civilians who are passionate about helping our Veterans in the sport of diving.

Target demographics: Mobility impaired vets and civilians including Spinal cord Injuries, Amputees, PTSD, MS and ALS

Direct beneficiaries per year: Over 38 new divers experience scuba

Geographic areas served: St. Louis drawing from a 5 state region and with an affiliate in Arizona

Programs: Learning to scuba dive through training in a pool, then open water dives for certification through Scuba Diving International Scubility program.

Community Stories

11 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Hackapva

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a parlyzed Marine Corps Veteran, a T6 paraplegic for over 25 years. Lifewaters taught me to scuba dive 5 years ago and I now have over 130 open water dives! Its amazing getting free from the chair and diving. Thank you!

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a paralyzed Marine and this organization has helped make me an advanced open water diver with more than 100 dives in 6 years. Thank you Lifewaters for changing my life!

Hack Albertson

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

We value the positive therapeutic outcomes that this VSO provides for our disabled veterans. Thank you LWs for all you do for our disabled veterans and family members.

Charley Tuna W.

Donor

Rating: 5

What a great way to get people together to share the love of the water. Thank you LifeWaters

Board Member

Rating: 5

I was introduced to LifeWaters over 4 years ago. A disabled veteran myself, I thought I would never dive again. It was LifeWaters and the recipients that made me realize there are now excuses if you have the will. Thank you Hak, Jessie, Jamie, Rose,Victor, Scotty, Bobby, Joey and all the others I had the opportunity to work with. Also a big thanks to Charlie, Jody and Matt who trained and mentored me on this adventure. God Bless.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the honor of being a part of the Atlanta Aquarium dive in March. What a wonderful organization with quality caring people. Families and divers alike shared in the excitement and comaradie of the adventure of the weekend together. Seeing the joy on the divers' faces as they played in the water is heartwarming and joyous.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I discovered LifeWaters last spring by pure accident and volunteered to attend their Atlanta Aquarium Dive in March. That trip changed my life forever. I have NEVER met such an amazing organization with such awesome caring, loving people. To see adaptive divers faces after coming up from a dive is priceless. Matt, Charley, Jessi, Hack, Howard, Victor, and Team LifeWaters is absolutely amazing. They literally change people's lives for the better daily. God Bless these amazing people and LifeWaters!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Being apart of lifewaters has been absolutely rewarding! To see both able bodied and disabled divers experiencing the amazing world underwater is amazing.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the privilege of diving with the Lifewaters group in the Cayman Islands and wow, what a fantastic experience. This organization opens up the world of scuba diving to those who may not thought it possible. Being able to support the adaptive divers so they had the best experience possible was very rewarding. I am honored and humbled to dive with Lifewaters.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a wonderful nonprofit organization providing SDI scuba diving training to both the disabled divers and their buddies so that they can participate in one of the sponsored dive trips through this group. I've had the opportunity to assist with training their Dive Masters and Dive Instructors as well as participate in the 2015 and 2016 trips to Cozumel. Awesome experience for both the buddies and the divers that participated! Anyone who is disabled, especially Vets who are spinal cord injured, this is the group for you! Please contact them.

Jessi H.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Peaceful, serene, other worldy. You know, all those cliché terms people throw around. They are all true and yet do not begin to describe the experience I had SCUBA diving. Over the last few years I have had the great privilege to become part of the Lifewaters family. Trained by and then finally christened on my first ocean dive during the summer of 2013. Yes, I said family. It is a group of individuals from all over the country and yet it feels like family. All abilities, all backgrounds, all ages.

Most people would look at Lifewaters and think, “They are doing something great, something amazing, helping people learn adaptive diving. Giving people that freedom in the water.” Yes, that is very true and very important. I get it, I’m an adaptive diver and being 60 feet under swimming along with the sea turtles and fish, f-r-e-e-d-o-m. However, to me that is not the greatest gift Lifewaters is giving. If you sit back and watch during an ocean dive, you see a group of people who probably just met working as a team. Learning about each other’s abilities and weaknesses and letting community and the ocean heal whatever is burdening them. They may not recognize it right away, but it is happening. That is such an amazing thing. Even more amazing is to watch that phenomena happening between a group of Veterans. Veterans from different branches, different eras, and of different abilities. As the wife of a USAF Veteran I was touched to see that bond surface and to see how during the dive and since the dive those Veterans have inspired, encouraged, and challenged my husband. Even if we were never given the chance to dive with those individuals again I truly believe we would continue to remain friends, to share life together.

Diving is so much more than being blown away by the majesty of the underwater world. It’s about bonds, friendship, teamwork. It’s about remembering that we need each other and can be healed by nature and by the community of people around us.

This is the gift that Lifewaters gives.