Organization helps teach disabled how to scuba dive

Scuba divers around the world are known for their generosity and willingness to share their love of the underwater world. The Non Profit Diveheart Foundation allows divers to combine a benevolent spirit with a desire to share the aquatic realm with others. As a non-profit 501-C3 totally volunteer organization, Diveheart is working hard to bring the joy of scuba diving to adults and children with disabilities.

This last year alone Diveheart’s team of volunteers brought six disabled teens to Key Largo for dive training. By the end of one week the four paraplegic and two amputee teenagers were flying though the water column effortlessly. On their return to school the teens new celebrity not only brought them new confidence and independence but helped to change mindsets among their able bodied peers.

Diveheart’s several scuba experience programs for the blind, physically and mentally disabled have allowed children and adults with disabilities to feel the freedom and exhilaration of scuba diving and wet their appetite for more.

Diveheart has also helped teach certified scuba instructors and divers how to work with disabled students. The Diveheart Foundation will again conduct a training program for disabled teens in Key Largo, Florida this coming July. The program is dependent upon successful Diveheart fundraising efforts. The Summer program alone runs approximately $15,000.

Diveheart is looking to the dive industry for sponsorships and support. Specifically, for training blind divers, Diveheart hopes to secure full facemasks with communications, so that instructors can "narrate" to blind dive students and communicate more effectively with quadriplegic divers. Also, donated dive gear is used in Diveheart fundraisers at their silent auction. And finally Diveheart is asking that individual divers "gift" to Diveheart in the name of friends and family members. Diveheart will support these efforts with letters to your loved ones expressing that a monetary gift was given to Diveheart in their name and further explain the mission of The Diveheart Foundation.

Because Diveheart is a totally volunteer organization with no paid positions, your donation directly impacts programs and people. “There are very few things in life more rewarding than watching a disabled child, who struggles on land, glide effortlessly over a reef in total control and tranquility”. Diveheart accepts both monetary and equipment donations any time of year.

For more information, visit the organization’s website at www.diveheart.org or call 630-964-1983.

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