(DiverWire) The Diveheart organization has received a $75,000 grant from the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) to help veterans with disabilities overcome often debilitating barriers through the weightlessness afforded by SCUBA diving.
Since 2006, the IDVA which was championed by now-Governor Pat Quinn, has awarded nearly $10 million to help Illinois not-for-profit organizations deliver supportive programs to local veterans. Proceeds from the sales of the Illinois Lottery’s Veterans Cash scratch-off game tickets are deposited into the Veterans Assistance Fund, making it the first Illinois lottery ticket dedicated exclusively to supporting Illinois veterans.
“Win or lose, people who play the Illinois Lottery’s Veterans Cash scratch-off game are helping our state’s veterans,” said IDVA Director Erica Borggren. “Diveheart is among a host of Illinois-based non-profits that are committed to serving those who have served. Diveheart’s unique program truly makes a difference for veterans suffering from paralysis, traumatic brain injury and amputations.”
“The Veterans Cash grant has been a blessing for Diveheart,” said Diveheart’s founder/president, Jim Elliott. “The funding helps my team deliver life-changing physical and psychological therapeutic experiences as well as recreation to Illinois’ disabled veteran community.”
On a quarterly basis, IDVA’s Veterans Cash Grant Committee reviews applications and awards grants to groups that help veterans address PTSD, homelessness, health insurance costs, long-term care and disability benefits. To date, more than 160 organizations have shared nearly $10 million in funding.
Diveheart, which is celebrating its tenth anniversary, provides SCUBA diving opportunities and adventures to children, adults and veterans with disabilities. For additional information, visit www.diveheart.org.