Waves Project Inc

Help a wounded warrior reach the water

Temecula, CA   |  http://wavesproject.org/

Mission

To offer the unique opportunity of experiencing SCUBA Diving to our wounded American veterans.
The properties of this aquatic environment enhances treatments that are ideal for wounded veterans as they rehabilitate from various injuries such as amputations, spinal cord injuries, PTSD , Traumatic Brain Injuries, and a host of other injuries. Scuba diving takes the advantages of the properties of water, including weightless and limited audio input, allowing wounded veteran's to exercise in a therapeutic environment. Underwater, there is the soothing sound of breathing through as your bubbles float effortlessly to the surface. Movements are slower, gravity is lessened and muscles move more freely.

Ruling year info

2014

President

Mr. Steve Rubin

Treasurer

Barbara Rubin

Main address

PO Box 1385

Temecula, CA 92593 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

46-3805961

NTEE code info

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (E12)

Swimming, Water Recreation (N67)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-PF.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

A great majority of service men and women who return to civilian life have a difficult time assimilating. Those who have been injured or suffer with Post-Traumatic Stress and Anxiety represent great number of veterans. We have seen individuals who have found new purpose in life while involved in the WAVES Project's program. The desired outcome of this program is to help veterans learn to control and manage the symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress and Anxiety through SCUBA as well as aid with pain management. The weightless feeling while in water often relieves nerve pain and increases mobility while the lack of auditory input helps calm the mind. Integrating these veterans into our community of divers with similar experiences provides them with a support system they may be lacking. Our partnership with the National Park Service Submerged Resources Center provides service opportunities for veterans to conduct underwater research, conservation and preservation in National Parks.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Wounded American Veterans Experience Scuba

We are professional SCUBA diving instructors and other individuals with a strong passion to give back to our combat wounded veterans. The men and women who served this country and came home with traumatic wounds, amputations or other life changing injuries; as well as their families, deserve the opportunity to experience what SCUBA diving offers.

Population(s) Served
Veterans
Adults

Beginning in late 2017 we had the opportunity to partner with the National Park Service Submerged Resources Center to provide divers to aid in preservation of underwater artifacts. Our divers have learned to do the research that helps the park service as well as gives them a purpose for diving, which many liken to conducting missions in the military. Normally the groups are 6 to 8 veterans who participant in a project which also helps build bonds and friendships.

In 2017 and 2018 we conducted projects in Lake Mohave, and Lake Mead mapping abandoned gold mining equipment and an “aggregate plant” used to build the Hoover Dam. In March and December of 2018 we worked on the USS Arizona memorial in Pearl Harbor, HI taking measurements of contaminants being released from the fuel tanks of the sunken ship. The goal is to mitigate any environmental damage while preserving the ship.

The aggregate plant mapping project at Lake Mead National Park will continue through 2021 with an anticipated completion date in October.
In 2019 at the Fort Jefferson National Park in the Dry Tortugas off the coast of Florida – buoy maintenance, debris removal and invasive species eradication. Our divers hope to return to continue maintenance in 2021.
Channel Islands, California – fish and sea life counts, conservation and ecology efforts. This was our first female veteran project which is the beginning of developing our women's service corps.
Key Biscayne, Florida is planned for summer 2021.

Missions are supported entirely by donations to the WAVES Project. Costs range from $5000 to $8000 for a week-long program. There are dozens of opportunities and hundreds of veterans training to take part once funding is available. Training costs for a diver averages $4000 to get them qualified for the program.

An investment of a $5000 donation to the WAVES Project MOD programs ensures a wounded veteran will receive the training required. It also provide the the opportunity to take part in at least one project and a lifetime of underwater experiences.

SCUBA diving has been shown to improve symptoms of anxiety, post traumatic stress and ease nerve pain. Many of the veterans in our programs have told us they felt like they “began living again” when they entered our programs. Several had previously been suicidal, depressed or were addicted to substances.

WAVES Project programs are changing lives – we hope you will join in our efforts and “help a wounded warrior reach the water”.

These are meaningful opportunities for wounded veterans to be productive, feel they are contributing to important projects and continue their service to our country.

Population(s) Served
Veterans
Military personnel

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of participants changing undesirable behavior, as reported by experts

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Veterans, People with disabilities

Related Program

Wounded American Veterans Experience Scuba

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

182 veterans completed training in SCUBA diving courses.

Number of clients served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Veterans

Related Program

Wounded American Veterans Experience Scuba

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

The number of unique individuals who participated in our programs in at least one area. 50 percent of individuals participate in two or more advanced programs for year long participation.

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

We are professional SCUBA diving instructors and other individuals with a strong passion to give back to wounded veterans. The men and women who served this country and came home with traumatic wounds, amputations or other life changing injuries; as well as their families, deserve the opportunity to experience what SCUBA diving offers.

The Waves Project has been established to provide an opportunity for Wounded American Veterans and those with service connected disabilities along with their families to experience scuba diving. Scuba diving can help the wounded warrior by promoting independence and self-confidence in many ways. The wounded veteran will benefit from becoming an underwater equal to able bodied divers and discover new personal goals and opportunities. They will also enjoy the peace and relaxation achieved by the weightlessness that our silent world provides. Through reduced external influences, scuba diving allows them to concentrate on less painful recovery and rehabilitation.

The Waves Project helps American Veterans with disabilities participate in a challenging, exciting and rewarding sport designed to facilitate the rehabilitation process of their injuries as well as rehabilitating the entire family unit. Unlike most veteran organizations that focus on serving the veteran only, WAVES Project encourages the veteran's entire family and friends to be a part of the process, creating a true rehabilitation for the entire family.

Aquatic therapy takes advantage of the properties of water and weightlessness, to provide a unique exercise and therapeutic environment for patients who experience pain, weakness, muscle spasms, limited range of motion and decreased strength.

In addition to basic SCUBA diving training we hold a monthly dive club meeting with is both social and a little business. We encourage participants to be involved in fun dive days as well as help with community outreach. One goal is to schedule and have funding to pay for veterans to take part in at least one fun dive day every month to encourage bonding and keep those we have trained active in the sport. We ask those who have participated to attend mixers and events to help spread the word about how this program has helped them and their families. All these activities help us build a community of divers who share common experiences and learn to rely on each other.

We have started a new program called "mission oriented diving" where veterans are trained to work as volunteers with the National Park Service Submerged Resource Center. They are conducting maintenance, research and conservation in our underwater parks giving the veterans a purpose for diving. They are volunteering to serve our country in a new way since they are unable to continue serving in the military.

We have 4 SCUBA instructors who have been trained by the HSA - Handicap SCUBA Association to work with divers with disabilities. In addition we have eight dive masters and two assistant instructors who assist the instructors. We continue to train dive professionals to meet the growing demand for services. Our core group of 60 volunteers have remained committed and active for the past 7 years giving us consistency and reliability.
Our paid staff consists of a program manager, director of operations, fundraising professional and bookkeeper.They handle day to day operations, scheduling of classes, equipment maintenance, volunteer management and administrative duties.
In March of 2020 we moved into office space in giving us a dedicated classroom, room to service equipment, SCUBA Gear display area and the space to store our SCUBA equipment. There is also a large meeting room for veterans to gather for training and camaraderie.
In 2019 our leadership development program successfully trained veterans to be dive masters and instructors to take over training courses. We will continue this program to further meet the growing demands for our programs. We have a backlog of about 150 applicants who are waiting to join the program. Two veterans have been fully trained to service our SCUBA equipment and three others are being trained to assist with that aspect of the organization.

We have successfully trained and certified three paralyzed veterans as Open Water SCUBA Divers. This is important because it demonstrates our abilities and competence to other veterans who may be apprehensive about taking the training. Four veterans with multiple limb amputations have completed the SCUBA certification process.

Each year we subsidize 12 veterans to take a week long diving trip that included additional training as well as honing their skills. During that week they learn new skills and achieve milestones. We issued dozens of specialty certifications and qualify divers to participate in the Mission Oriented Diving projects with the National Park Service. All of this training helps build confidence and improves skill levels for a lifetime of diving.

Financials

Waves Project Inc
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Waves Project Inc

Board of directors
as of 3/9/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Steve Rubin

Barbara Rubin

Gary Winter

Steve Rubin

Todd Thompson

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 3/9/2021,

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data