Betsy Parks
Betsy Parks's Fundraiser

Help me with the cost of the training needed as a DIVEMASTER to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities.

$0 towards $3,000

Join me in supporting real change. Let's support good in the world and make a difference. Help us instill the can-do spirit in people with disabilities for DIVEHEART!

As an Army wife and mother of two United States Army soldiers I know first-hand how difficult it can be to come back home after serving our country in combat. As "Aunt Betsy" to a very special 21-year-old who has multiple disabilities most of which are neurologically based I know how difficult it can be to find activities that grow the can-do attitude we all need to find happiness.

When my husband returned home from Afghanistan he suffered silently from a brain trauma and PTSD. We were both scuba divers and, in an attempt, to reconnect we took a trip to Cozumel, Mexico. He agreed to the trip but said he did not want to dive. After arriving, I asked him to watch me from the water's edge as I did an easy self-check-out dive from the shore of the resort. When I surfaced, full of life, I was delighted to learn that he had changed his mind and he wanted to join me. We enjoyed five days of boat diving and one incredible night dive. I felt he was coming back to me and I was very interested in how easily he changed and grew with my gentle suggestions and encouragement. I could not put my finger on it but knew I had the key while we were in the water. I needed to learn how to help him so after returning home I contacted Rainbow Reef to inquire about their DIVEHEART program. A few short months later I arrived in the Florida Keys and enrolled in two of the most challenging courses of my life. I became a PADI Rescue Diver and PADI Divemaster! I acquired the skills I needed to not only be responsible for myself but for others. On the long ride home from the Florida Keys, I was stoked, so I stopped by my niece's house in Tampa and told her about DIVEHEART. She was thrilled. Sharing her mom and auntie's love for the water she and I found a pink quality scuba diving mask, snorkel and fin set at her local dive shop.

I returned home, began DIVEHEART online training and volunteering with DIVEHEART in Atlanta, Ga. I am returning to Koh Tao, Thailand for three months to become a PADI Instructor. It is my hope, if I can raise enough funds, I can continue my training and volunteering efforts this December in Cozumel, Mexico where it all began and by next summer become a become a DIVEHEART Instructor.

Any donations over $50 will receive a special thank you gift, an 8oz tin of TRUE Body Butter handmade by myself and my sister, the mother of my niece with disabilities.