About Our Non-Profit
The Corporation was formed in December 2018 by an interested group of United States veterans and their friends with an interest in helping in the process of reintegrating and transitioning United States servicemen and women, veterans, their families and gold star families into society in general. The members of this group have experienced firsthand the problems and difficulties of this process and want to assist others using their knowledge by establishing a community-based program to bridge the gap back into everyday life for others. They have found a welcoming, friendly and understanding community in the New England SCUBA diving and freediving community, who are happy to volunteer their efforts in this project. The Corporation and its founding members know that often funds are tight or nonexistent for participating in outdoor activities such as SCUBA and have developed a program with experts in the local dive community who will help not just by donating needed equipment and services at substantially reduced pricing but have the ability to teach certification courses in SCUBA and freediving, to many individuals, including those with disabilities. This allows the Corporation to offer SCUBA and freediving activities either free of charge or at minimal cost to these servicemen and women, veterans and their families. Water sports and activities, and diving, in particular, is uniquely suited to people with disabilities because the ability to walk is not required. SCUBA is a challenging outdoor activity that can be engaged in year-round with the proper equipment, the Corporation helps to establish a sense of belonging to its participants in a currently existing civil community.
Starting back in 2010, the annual White Oak conferences (‘America Joins Forces for Military Families’) have documented the immense need for more collaboration and relationship-building across sectors in supporting military personnel and veterans. The Corporation’s programs, albeit modest, move from identifying the issue to actually establishing and implementing a collaborative community-based program to accomplish this goal, one of the concepts discussed at the sixth White Oak retreat in 2016, which among other things emphasized the need to generate innovate approaches to critical issues such as veteran transition and reintegration and improving overall civil-military relations through increased familiarity and cooperation. The White Oak retreats are supported by private philanthropy, government, military and nonprofit sectors of society, and in part emphasize the need for ‘decentralized services to foster local community integration’ and collaboration, communication, and strategy, and identify existing gaps and solutions. White Oak V in 2015 discussed improving civil-military bridges to strengthen military family resilience.
The Corporation strongly believes that these goals are exactly what their programing and activities will do. Moreover, the veterans starting the Corporation believe that they have already benefited from their connections in the SCUBA and freediving community, and wish to help others avail themselves of these same opportunities.
The original idea for the Corporation developed out of an interest in helping United States servicemen and women, veterans, their families and gold star families who were transitioning back to regular civilian life by offering a community-based program to help bridge the gap back to everyday life by offering activities and classes in SCUBA diving and free diving that would allow the development of friends and a supportive atmosphere in a challenging outdoor activity. The Corporation hopes to strengthen existing philanthropic bonds between United States citizens in the dive community who wish to help this process so that to the extent possible all classes and activities offered are provided free of charge to servicemen and women, veterans their families and gold star families.
The Corporation is newly formed and not yet fully operational, having concentrated its initial “activities” on finding officers and Directors, acquiring sponsors, developing initial projects and identifying effective ways of implementing those projects and conducting startup activities.
The Corporation’s operations are all based in New England, primarily the greater Boston area. Both United States charities and veteran organizations and the United States government have encouraged United States citizens to establish community-based programs and donate money to help servicemen and women, veterans and their families and gold star families and the Corporation and its donors would like to help. The difficulties of re-entry into everyday life after being in the armed services is well documented, especially in situations where someone is left disabled, and the exempt purposes of the Corporation include helping such people through providing community-based activities, courses, and programs. The individuals starting the Corporation feel that their veteran backgrounds and their combined giving power plus their access to donated and no-cost/low-cost equipment, supplies, and training options will be more beneficial than their individual gifts in that effort.