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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

27 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

Diveheart has served my son who has autism well over the years. The volunteers are all super kind and generous with their time. They have helped my him to recognize that he can accomplish something he has never tried before. I will not forget how it brought happy tears to my eyes when he did make a dive under the water in a local swimming pool. Awesome work, Diveheart! You have helped raise my son's self-esteem in a fun way.

Lisa Hartlage at Change of Scene

Client Served

Rating: 5

Diveheart has opened up a brand new world for my twin sons with Autism. Both boys are avid swimmers and are on a summer swim team, but Diveheart has shown them that moving slowly in the water allows you to see and experience so much more. My sons said that "breathing underwater is like being a fish and not having to come up for air". The Diveheart volunteers are caring, supportive and I felt completely at ease watching them in the water. Thank you to Jim and the whole Diveheart organization for offering "another way to share our beautiful planet".

Vera R.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had the opportunity to experience diving with DIVEHEART at the Wisconsin Women Veterans Conference held at Ft McCoy, WI this past weekend. As a 100% disabled combat Veteran DIVEHEART helped build my confidence that I CAN particpate in active sports. The most amazing part was being able to float on the bottom of the pool and experience TOTAL pain relief for a few moments in my life. I hope DIVEHEART can expand it's program and reach all disabled veterans across the country.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is John J2 Mryczko and I am a action sports enthusiast, designer, promoter, producer, entrepreneur, and motivational speaker living with a spinal cord injury. I have been involved in Action sports for almost all my life. i have tried and participated in many sports but never got a chance to try SCUBA untill DiveHeart

Client Served

Rating: 5

Everyone involved in Diveheart is wonderful. I feel comfortable in the water right away. I need help getting the tank on, and all the care I receive while in the water is terrific. My son,who is my diving buddy just got certified this summer, it was the highlight of his summer. The freedom he felt while diving was fantastic.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son has autism. He was invited by Diveheart to "give it a try" at a "Discover Scuba" class for people with a disability. When we arrived, I was touched by the number of great and happy volunteers (certified divers) in the mix of people. They approached us and introduced themselves and made us feel welcomed. But what actually transpired during the course of that evening for my son is difficult to find the right words to describe ALL their successes. My son, up to that point, had not been able to complete a task without suffering from a meltdown before, during or after an event. That evening, however, in the water, with 3:1 volunteer staff/participant ratio, he was engaged. He was able to don mask, tank, weightbelt, etc. and make his first official discovery of what it is like to be able to move and breathe freely while under water. Now, he is no longer fearful of water, and looks forward to participating in future dives. Thank you, Diveheart. You are all special people who help turn one's disability into an ability. We cannot thank you all enough. Glad we finally came to your "Discover Scuba" class. All the best, May

Client Served

Rating: 5

There are no words to describe how great Diveheart is. Jim Elliot is an amazing man with a huge heart. I am a veteran of Iraq. I have been out of the Marine Corps for 4 years, working and going to school. I heard about Diveheart through several veterans organizations that I am a part of and immediately wanted to get involved. While I am a disabled vet, I don't have special needs for diving. Jim got me scuba certified so that I can be a buddy diver for veterans with more severe disabilities. Getting the chance to help others with this amazing experience has put a smile back on my face. I think that I have gotten as joy from being a volunteer to the organization as the participants do!