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Diveheart Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Centers to Support the Independence of Specific Populations, Health, Health Care, Human Services, Recreation & Sports, Sports

Mission: Diveheart helps build confidence and independence in children, adults and veterans with disabilities through the sport of scuba diving. The DIVEHEART VISION: It is our hope to bring the disabled dive industry up to the level of the disabled ski industry by 2020. For example: fifty or more years ago if an individual in a wheelchair rolled up to a ski resort in Colorado and wanted to downhill ski, there were no opportunities. Today, many ski resorts and operators around the world cater to skiers with disabilities, giving them the opportunity to experience the excitement of Alpine skiing. We believe that as individuals with disabilities discover that scuba diving is an activity that they can easily participate in, the tide will rise and the growing demand will necessitate that dive retailers, manufacturers, instructors, operators and resorts recognize and meet the need.

Programs: Diveheart has programs for children, adults and veterans with disabilities.

Community Stories

62 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Mike182

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Just got back from the trip to Cozumel. Amazing how a group came together to have such a meaningful and great time!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Diveheart Foundation goes out of their way to provide an excellent experience for their participants. As a new volunteer I was amazed by how the dive instructors catered to the physical and emotional challenges of each individual. Everyone had a great time and I am already looking forward to the next adaptive dive event!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Diveheart is an amazing organization that breaks down physical, psychological and emotional barriers through the therapeutic sport of SCUBA. The benefits for its participants are real and immediate, Diveheart changes lives on a daily basis. People with mobility challenges are suddenly free to move in a weightless environment. People with cognitive challenges experience a sense of accomplishment and tranquility that only SCUBA can offer. The president, Jim Elliott does not take a salary, and his is fantastic - always looking for ways to help adaptive divers and their families. As a Diveheart volunteer, I have had the privilege to witness this all first-hand. It is a First-Class Organization on every level!

Isabel6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had the privilege to volunteer with Dive Heart, to support their efforts which provide opportunities to give experiences the joy of underwater exploration. They provide exceptional training to people who volunteer to provide a safe experience for the participants.

I am truly grateful to share the experience with the participants and other staff.

Isabel

Stormy C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Diveheart helps disabled children, adults and veterans build confidence and experience freedom through SCUBA. The founder/president does not draw a salary, and key roles are filled by dedicated volunteers.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Sharing a dive with someone who could not otherwise dive is one of the best ways to dive! And then the "thank you" that person gives me after the dive is one of the best "thank yous" I have ever received. One of the best ways I can spend my free time is volunteering with Diveheart.

1 Kirk W.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hello, my name Kirk. I am a disable veteran. I found diveheart through another member of my VFW when I was talking to him about my recent diving certification and experience a couple years ago. Since then, I have learned a lot from the other members and participants. There is so much to be gained from scuba and having a disability. As a volunteer and a client, I have seen how it affects others with disabilities and felt it myself. Jim Elliot is one of the great ones! He is knowledgable and very passionate. It bring excitement to all that we do in the group. I look forward to every event and any way I can help. I really hope that we can make the vision of this organization come true. The results of a facility for therapeutic diving, here in midwest, would be a truly beneficial accomplishment. The amount of people we could reach and help would be astonishing!

1 Dan_B

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Over the last several years, I have worked with several non-profits in various cities across the country... and in all honesty I had become quite disenfranchised. Almost every group I had volunteered with or donated to ended up being mired in internal politics or drama, and many were more focused on serving the founder or the board's financial or political gains.

I was introduced to Diveheart by a random encounter and have (literally) jumped in with both feet since our first meeting. The things that this organization has accomplished are truly amazing... and it's extremely evident that they've only scratched the surface of the amazing things to come.

I can't say enough good about Diveheart, and I hope you'll take some time to learn more about the organization yourself!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered at Diveheart for a few months now and have been impressed with their dedication to their participants. It is rare to see people who truly care for those in need, but the excellent staff at Diveheart definitely do!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’ve been volunteering for Diveheart for about a year now. I mostly volunteer in the office and have become very close with the board members and staff. They have provided me with multiple opportunities to learn and I am able to see firsthand how committed they are to making this organization successful. The founders dedicate their whole life to Diveheart. They are constantly thinking about how to make improvements and what would be best for the participants.
One of my favorite things about Diveheart is being able to engage with the participants and hear their stories about how rewarding scuba diving is for them. I’ve heard stories of how they feel like they belong to a family and are motivated to do better because of their accomplishments.
I am currently an occupational therapy student and love the therapeutic potential that diving can bring to people as well as the purpose and meaning that people find within scuba diving.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My daughter (16 yrs old) and I are avid divers and started working with diveheart about 2 years ago. The tireless work by willy and Jim is inspiring on its own, but seeing the joy that the organization brings not only the participants, but their family and their caregivers is awesome. It is a wonderful experience to volunteer at any of their events even for non-divers. Jim's vision to grow diveheart into areas for research, training and long term sustainability is exciting and we look forward to help reach those goals any way we can.

2 Teresa49

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer for Diveheart, I have learned many things about people. They are willing to share their time and talent for an awesome organization. Diveheart helps handicapped individuals experience scuba diving. Yes, I could not believe what some of these people are capable of. Diveheart lets them feel the freedom in the water that they cannot experience on land. I do not scuba dive but I help as a deck hand at some of the pools and on land at the beach events. Like any nonprofits, help is always needed and welcome. If you are capable, why not give Diveheart a try?

Walter11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I help with the HSA buddy system. I am able to see the joy in the disables eyes by helping them get into a zero gravity setting, watch them have the freedom to move about without pain and being assisted by some kind of mechanical device.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started diving with Diveheart about 3 years ago. I was scared a little because I had never done it before but all the volunteers put me right at ease the first day I went in the water. I have been in the pool and quarry numerous times. I even got to go diving in Florida twice. Now I am a certified scuba diver in spite of the fact I am physically disabled. I always have a great time when I join any Diveheart function.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I met Jim Elliott at the Chicago Scuba show and he introduced me to Diveheart. As Commander of the Northbrook, Illinois American Legion/VFW post and a scuba diver I meediately volunteered the posts services. What a tremendous organization and we are anxious to take part in the scuba traing and taking a group of disabled vets on a scuba trip. Absolutely a high energy high purpose not-for-profit. I am humbled to be a part of it. Rob Holt, NOrthbrook, Il

1 Grasiele Lopes

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I met the work of diverheart group, i was very happy for the beautiful work of this team. I always get emotional seeing the smile on the face of each person when they go diving. i love see how this team helps people to be happy, finding diving a reason to feel your heart full of happiness. Congratulations to Jim and the whole team for this attitude so beautiful. I wish God bless all the team every day.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My daughter Sophia who has CP and is unable to walk, with the help of The Center of Independence staff was able to experience Scuba diving with the Diveheart Foundation Divers, she was a little
hesatant and scared at first but was excited and still wanted to try it once she got the mask on and
went under water she just loved it. She did not want to come out of the water. The divers were great
and she hasn't stopped talking about it and would love to do it again, it was a great expierence for
her. Thank You to The Center of Independence in Countryside and to the Diveheart team for giving
her that chance to experience scuba dive.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

You only have to see a slide presentation given by Jim Elliott, the president, of Diveheart, and your heart goes out to this organization. You don't have to like Scuba, you only have to care about easing the pain in others.

No matter who you are, your disability or that of a loved one, this group can make it better. They can ease the physical pain & the emotional ones, build your strength, your self confidence, your social status, it's all the a pool of water filled with diver buddies with big, big hearts helping you every step of the way to a better & brighter future.

Every age, every color, every gender, every walk or crawl in life can benefit thru association with Diveheart.

I'm proud to help when & where I can & fully support their efforts.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first began working with Diveheart a year ago. The mission of the organization spoke to me, as I have a son with special needs and my father was a Vietnam veteran who suffered from untreated PTSD. I decided to become a volunteer and have found great joy in the work, connecting with other divers of all ability levels. Diveheart is my dive community and I'm proud to be a member! If you have any interest in sharing your passion for diving with EVERYONE you know, get involved. You won't regret it!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I learned about DIveheart in 2011 and started volunteering that same year. It's been wonderful meeting all the people both volunteers and participants over the past two years - they all inspire me! It's amazing the impact even one pool dive can do for a participant's vision of themselves and the gratitude that is expressed at a Diveheart DSE is always a gift that lifts my spirits every time I volunteer.