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View Full Version : Donating my 50.00 ST card (when I get it).



mwhities
07-17-2007, 21:58
I'm looking to find the least fortunate diver on the board to give my 50.00 ST card to. (If Joe and Larry allows me to.)

If you think you would qualify for it, please post here and tell me why. I have quite a ways to go, which is good, so I can read through the posts and decide who the winner will be.

I'll take donations and add it to a pot of anyone else is willing. If you don't trust me, post in here and tell Joe or Larry (if they will) to hold your card or donations of sorts until I (we - Joe and Larry too, if they want) pick a person to give it too.

So is there anyone willing to help donate?

Are you the one that needs help getting gear?

Post here and let us know. When I hit 250 posts, my 251 post will be who the donations go to.

(Legal stuff: I'm doing this as a kind person to help others out. I'm by no means going to rip anyone off or make fun of anyone. Blah blah blah... I don't know the legal stuff... If need be, I have clients that are lawyers and I can get them to write something up. I just want to help, so help me help someone else. Mind you,, no one has to help. I'm sure an extra 50.00 will mean a lot to someone. I also ask if you can regularly purchase gear, please don't post to try to get the donations. Either support someone on here or donate yourself. )

Thanks,

Michael

medic001918
07-17-2007, 22:30
Wow, what an excellent and generous idea. I wouldn't be surprised to see Larry & Joe in full support of this idea. They are just that kind of shop. Can't wait to see who the lucky & deserving winner is.
<DIV>
Shane</DIV>

ScubaToys Larry
07-17-2007, 22:33
Yes... that is very generous. In fact I'll kick in $50 as well. One thing we may want to think about... if a few others did this... is it your intention to gather funds to just outfit 1 person - or spread it around to multiple people... Let me know how you want it to work and I'll do anything to help.

Cichlid
07-17-2007, 22:37
Awesome job guys.smileys/smiley32.gif
I think it would be cool to outfit one person. However, if there are
applicants that make it too close to call maybe we can split it up at
that time.

downunder
07-18-2007, 01:09
Can I nominate someone????

medic001918
07-18-2007, 01:11
Yes... that is very generous. In fact I'll kick in $50 as well. One thing we may want to think about... if a few others did this... is it your intention to gather funds to just outfit 1 person - or spread it around to multiple people... Let me know how you want it to work and I'll do anything to help.
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>I had a feeling you would do something like that. You guys run a great operation and continue to demonstrate that every day. I'm more impressed the more I learn about scubatoys. Keep up the strong work.

Shane</DIV>

mwhities
07-18-2007, 06:19
Can I nominate someone????

Sure, I guess they would need to be part of the STs forum. As much as I'd like to help anyone and everyone, I feel we should keep it in house.

I'll talk (chat/PM/e-mail/talk) with Larry today sometime and see exactly what we can do. Otherwise, I don't have an issue.

Michael

frankc420
07-18-2007, 08:11
Why stop at donating $$? If we find someone, I'm sure there are MANY people with gear sitting in a closet that they could donate! Then the donation $$ could go toward certification or additional training.

jacewindu
07-18-2007, 08:17
i think i found the best place in the internet.
wow - you guys all rock :)

mwhities
07-18-2007, 08:19
Well, my first thought was to get cash/credit donations so the person that wins will be able to get new gear. Old/unused gear would be great. I know when I started out, I'd loved to have some but, the winner would be able to get gear that fits him/her better than the used.

We could start a "Used Gear Donations" thread and whatever gear no one uses anymore could be shipped to ST or me or someone to help pass the gear along to others that need the gear.

Michael

downunder
07-18-2007, 09:52
Well, here is the situation. She is kinda a 'member', but logging in with me. She is my niece, Carissa, that I recently got to know real well.

In March of this year, she was removed from her mothers care by Child Protective Services at the age of 15. Her dad (my brother who I do not normally keep in regular contact with) also has many problems which did not allow CPS to place her there. It was at that point when Carissa and her mom lived in an old Dodge Neon on the streets. Carissa had dropped out of school and had no hope in herself or life. She quickly ended up in a hospital due to her inability to handle the stress.

That is when our family stepped in and took her in as a foster home. We immediately enrolled her in the school district in our area and began professional counseling for her. We worked with her every day to make sure she made it to school and passed her classes. She ended the semester with final exam scores of 5 B's and 1 C! It was a huge success in the right direction. Here is a letter requested for a court hearing from her school: http://www.lakelandtrail.org/carissa.pdf

We also discovered that she was a victim of a horrible crime while with the mother. Just last month, the trial for her attacker was completed and he was found guilty! Now, she can put that behind her – well, somewhat.

During the first weeks, we quickly realized that we needed to get her mind on productive things like hobbies or volunteering. She has volunteered at the Humane Society feeding pets and Relay for Life for the fight against breast cancer. On day, I was sitting with her trying to find other things she might be interested in and she mentioned she likes sea life. BINGO. Being a diver for 10 years, I quickly suggested that her and my 10 year old son take the OW class. She immediately brushed it off because "Why - I'll just fail it like I do everything else!" It was that statement that really made me want her to try. So she agreed. We had an initial very bad experience in training (yeah, see the training post I left on “finding a good instructor”) that made us stop the class on the last confined water session. She had to retake the entire course because on an instructor, but it was a great lesson in striving for what you want!

Carissa achieved her OW cert. She is a smart girl that is a victim of her parents and has never succeeded in anything due to them. This is the FIRST significant success in her life. When she came to us, she never had a smile on her face. I would always say "Hey, where is that smile????!!!". This picture is of her going into her last dive at Gilboa in Ohio. She is showing the camera that she does have a smile (now a personal joke between us)! (http://www.lakelandtrail.org/carissa.jpg). She just turned 16 and although she has a lot of challenges with the courts and her parents, it's things like SCUBA that keep in her mind that she can achieve things that may seem impossible!

As of last weekend, we now only have her on the weekends. But we like to spend those weekends with rental gear in the nearby lakes! I have been keeping my eye on ebay for inexpensive used stuff, but that is hard and unpredictable. My 10 year old son has saved enough to buy an Avid BC and the AirLab computer (both from ST’s clearance gear – I match 50/50 on their gear purchases) from selling golf balls at the local course. Carissa has very few belongings and I do hope to increase her and my son Alex’s scuba collection as I can, but it’s no secret this is an expensive sport!

Thanks for your consideration.

Andy.

Cichlid
07-18-2007, 09:55
Very solid nominee.

mwhities
07-18-2007, 10:08
Very solid nominee.

I concur. I'm not racist to any age, color, ethnic, etc....

Anyone and everyone is welcomed to be nominated.

Well, maybe not one-arm people... ;)

Dang, that means I can't win for sure!

Michael

tx.lakerat
07-18-2007, 10:59
I think this is the best post on any board I've ever been on....

frankc420
07-18-2007, 11:26
...

Might I ask where she is during the week? If your a foster home for her, shouldn't she be with you and your family at all time, excluding school etc.

medic001918
07-18-2007, 11:32
Very solid nominee.
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>A very solid nominee indeed. I think these are the types of candidates that Michael had in mind when he made the decision to donate his card.</DIV>
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>We'll see who else posts up their story. This one is a good start to "set the bar" though in my opinion.</DIV>
<DIV>
Shane</DIV>

downunder
07-18-2007, 11:50
It is rather a complicated story, but the short of it is that I was a "kinship foster home" as opposed to a licensed home (didn't have time for all that the day I got her from the hospital!). Things further deteriated between my brother and me so CPS did a change of placement. She currently resided in the ghetto. Yes, literally inner city Ponitac. It is very temporary (good thing, I was watching her house the other day because she was scared and there was a raid next door... yes, I even took pictures!). CPS's only intent is to reunite her with her birth parents (won't ever happen with mom as she is lostin the world ofdrugs). There is some hope with her dad, but she now really has a bond with our family too. That is helping her through these rough days. Amazingly, she has not turned to drugs through this and calls me regularly to say "I'm staying strong!" At least we still have perminant contact.
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>But to sum it up Frank- I am learning lessons of the CPS organization. Everytime they do something, you end up asking... "For Carissa's sake, shouldn't you NOT do that???!!!!!"</DIV>

downunder
07-18-2007, 13:13
Yes, the things she has now (mask, fins, snorkle, boots) are with me - more because for the next year or so, she will only be diving with me anyways. Also, we plan on driving to Florida during the Thanksgiving vacation (take the week off) and go to Key Largo. There is a nice campground there we can stay at for a few days then stop in the Tampa area to see Grandma on the way back...

TxHockeyGuy
07-18-2007, 13:33
I've had extended family members have to deal with CPS up in Ohio as well. It's an absolute mess to deal with. At least with my extended family everything ended well. I wish you and her the best.

Lucky(AR)
07-18-2007, 18:06
wow thats a touching story..hats off to carissa

the gooch
07-19-2007, 09:47
hats off to you for taking Carissa in and I wish her the best of luck

Harshal
07-19-2007, 12:14
That was really touching story and hats off to Andy and his family to step in and stand besides Carissa in these hard times. My best wishes for Andy and his family and Carissa and hope things work out. <?:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

I will be willing to donate my first $10 certificate (When I get) and I might be interested in donating more in future.
Also I think Larry has good idea if the pot grows bigger splitting the amount between few good candidates is good idea as well.
Larry, please let me know what I need to do for donating the gift certificate.

downunder
07-19-2007, 20:18
Thanks guys! She came backHOME last night and is here to say THANKS to all!!! This is sure a fun community of people!

skdvr
07-20-2007, 12:08
Well I have someone that I would like to Nominate...
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>It is my future brother-in-law. He is marrying my sister next weekend and he is going to have a rough life...</DIV>
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>Just Kidding</DIV>
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>I think that donating is a great idea and I will throw in my $10.00 card as well.</DIV>
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>I think that downunder has a great candidate for this...</DIV>
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>I also think that if Scuba Toys does get a big enogh pot for donations that they could be split up. The only problem is that could become a full time job on its own.</DIV>
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>GREAT thread by the way....</DIV>
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>Phil</DIV>

kevinj1
07-20-2007, 13:53
she has my vote

Harshal
07-20-2007, 14:02
Well I have someone that I would like to Nominate...
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>It is my future brother-in-law. He is marrying my sister next weekend and he is going to have a rough life...</DIV>
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>Just Kidding</DIV>
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>I think that donating is a great idea and I will throw in my $10.00 card as well.</DIV>
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>I think that downunder has a great candidate for this...</DIV>
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>I also think that if Scuba Toys does get a big enogh pot for donations that they could be split up. The only problem is that could become a full time job on its own.</DIV>
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>GREAT thread by the way....</DIV>
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>Phil</DIV>
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>I feel sorry for your brother-in-law.............lol http://www.scubatoys.com/forum/smileys/smiley36.gif</DIV>
<DIV>I agree it will be another full-tim job Larry, are you hiring someone for this, what is the offer and oh yes definately need benefits .............lol http://www.scubatoys.com/forum/smileys/smiley36.gif</DIV>

Judestudio
07-20-2007, 19:58
I'm glad at least she has a great uncle like you (could've been worse),that'll sure be something shewill be grateful andcherish for life http://www.scubatoys.com/forum/smileys/smiley1.gif
<DIV>Good for you both!!</DIV>

Ajuva
07-21-2007, 10:36
I'll second that,
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>Just made my $10 and will be happy to see it join the pot.</DIV>
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>I'm in the UK anyway so it makes sense for me to kick in to the scheme.</DIV>
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>Ajuva</DIV>

stingray
07-28-2007, 11:49
This is the nicest gesture I've seen... a true testiment to the thoughtfullness of the diving community.:smiley20:

silentstone7
07-29-2007, 05:17
I was thinking of nominating myself, as a poor college student, but I've worked to get to where I am and I can work a little bit harder to get what I want. I think Carissa / downunder is very deserving. She should definitely get the money.

ScubaToys Larry
07-31-2007, 21:50
:smiley20: This thread has earned mwhities, the original poster of this thread, the Bare Wetsuit giveaway for the month of July. Here is the thread that explains it all: http://forum.scubatoys.com/showthread.php?p=13768#post13768

thesmoothdome
07-31-2007, 22:00
Congrats to mwhities. Definately a deserving thread.

Illini_Fan
07-31-2007, 22:07
This is a great thread -- what are the logistics of moving our gift certificates to the winner. I haven't earned my $50 yet, but I'll throw in the $10 right now.

ScubaToys Larry
07-31-2007, 22:33
This is a great thread -- what are the logistics of moving our gift certificates to the winner. I haven't earned my $50 yet, but I'll throw in the $10 right now.

Just PM Joe, and give him your gift cert # and a note saying you want to toss it into the donation fund and we'll take care of it.

Foo2
07-31-2007, 23:01
:smiley32::smiley32:Michael rocks!!!!!:smiley32::smiley32:

Cheddarchick
08-01-2007, 13:31
This is one of the reasons that the diving community is the best!!!!

mwhities
08-01-2007, 13:59
Ok people. Those of you that are wanting to donate 10 or the 50, we need you to do it before the 10th. We don't have anywhere near the amount we thought that we might've had. So as for now, it seems it's going to be only one person going to get the donation.

Please PM or e-mail Joe with your cert number and he will be able to add it.

Thanks again all for your help with this.

Michael

nferra2
08-09-2007, 17:47
Wow, good thread. Too bad just not having the time nor money to get started is not enough to qualify...

WV Diver
08-09-2007, 17:52
Thou art a fine and noble knight, Sir mwhities.

TxScubaBear
08-09-2007, 18:11
As soon as I hear from Jeff on a GC number, I'll throw it in the pot as well, every little bit helps y'all!

mwhities
08-09-2007, 19:55
Only a few more posts to go.

Tomorrow is our cut off date for the GCs. If you have any GCs you wan to donate and/or want to donate anything as small as 1.00 to 5.00 or more... please call Joe and let him know to donate it to this thread.

Thanks again for all of those that have donated. I hope to make one person's year a great one for scuba.

Michael

bullshark
08-09-2007, 20:09
I just sent Joe a pm to add my $10 card to the pot and downunder's niece definetly sounds like a deserving candidate

mwhities
08-10-2007, 10:30
Ok, this is my 250th post for my 50.00 GC. Today is the cut off day for the donation of your GC. I'm sure we'll keep accepting them until the end of the working day.

I REALLY want to thank all of you that have donated their GC(s). It really means a lot to help someone out that's less fortunate than others. I'm sure the person that receives this gift will greatly appreciate it.

I'm going to contact Larry and Joe and we'll decide on the person that gets the gift.

Thank you all again for the kind words to me and I thank all of you for your support in doing this.

God Bless all of you,

Michael

ScaredSilly
08-10-2007, 15:23
Cool thoughts here. My suggestion - though I do not exactly where this would go and I am sure it is not someone who is on the board so my post may be moot under Mike's idea. Currently, there are alot of men and women returning from military combat from various parts of the world. Daily we hear and read of IEDs that maim these folks. I believe that no matter how one feels about political side of this the folks on the ground deserve our respect. As such, I would like to suggest that the money be used to support a scuba diving rehab program for returning injuried military soldiers. This way the donations would benefit many people - some of which do not have as good of support as others. I would be happy to donate my $10 into that pot.

Harshal
08-10-2007, 15:37
I will send a PM to Joe too, so far I only got $10.00, and I can definately give it for good cause.

porsche060
08-18-2007, 09:03
Wow.. Very impressed

Xspect
08-19-2007, 21:44
This is great. I hope that all who receive donation remember to give back to the community

somewhereinla
08-21-2007, 14:16
Is it too late to donate?

mwhities
08-21-2007, 15:39
No, go ahead now. I'm going to contact the person that is going to get the donation pot here soon. So please, go ahead and thank you.

Michael

Charlotte Smith
08-29-2007, 08:53
Why stop at donating $$? If we find someone, I'm sure there are MANY people with gear sitting in a closet that they could donate! Then the donation $$ could go toward certification or additional training.
I have some fins I would be willing to donate......

mwhities
09-03-2007, 14:12
Warren,

I had responded ansd told you to PM Joe and he would take your gift card.

Michael

Warren
09-03-2007, 15:39
Warren,

I had responded ansd told you to PM Joe and he would take your gift card.

Michael

Hmmm...

Never got a PM from you... Thanks.

justlooking
09-03-2007, 19:49
I'll pitch in my certs when I get there.
What about collecting good used gear to help folks out?

mwhities
09-03-2007, 20:41
Warren,

I had responded ansd told you to PM Joe and he would take your gift card.

Michael

Hmmm...

Never got a PM from you... Thanks.

Warren,

I want to apologize. I did receive a PM from you but, I must have been busy at work and forgot to respond. I do apologize. I went through my sent PMs and no response to you was there. Sorry about that.

Michael

mwhities
09-03-2007, 20:42
I'll pitch in my certs when I get there.
What about collecting good used gear to help folks out?

That might be something we can start. We'll have to ask the big guys. :)

Michael

Warren
09-04-2007, 15:40
Warren,

I had responded ansd told you to PM Joe and he would take your gift card.

Michael

Hmmm...

Never got a PM from you... Thanks.

Warren,

I want to apologize. I did receive a PM from you but, I must have been busy at work and forgot to respond. I do apologize. I went through my sent PMs and no response to you was there. Sorry about that.

Michael

No worries!

downunder
09-06-2007, 19:30
Well, I would like to really extend my greatest thanks to Michael, Scuba Toys and all the folks who donated their gift cards to me. It means a lot! Thanks again!!!!

-Carissa.

mwhities
09-06-2007, 19:48
You are most certainly welcome. Dive safe my young dive buddy!

Michael

skippy11
09-07-2007, 01:35
Wow!! I am completely blown away by everyone's generosity! Carissa was definately deserving. You all are Awesome!!

MSilvia
10-02-2007, 13:05
What's the story with the cutoff date? Is Carissa all geared up and not accepting more GCs, or can we still donate? If donations are still accepted, are they still going to her, or has someone else been chosen?

diversteve
10-02-2007, 13:42
If Carissa is all set, here's a new group to consider donating your gift certificates to - the WUE (Wilson Underwater Explorers):

http://forum.scubatoys.com/showthread.php?t=4498

I will be if it's possible. Scubatoys sponsored them last year also.

downunder
10-02-2007, 13:43
What's the story with the cutoff date? Is Carissa all geared up and not accepting more GCs, or can we still donate? If donations are still accepted, are they still going to her, or has someone else been chosen?

With all the kind help of the divers and of course the folks at ScubaToys, we now have the complete setup for her. I added in a little and was able to outfit a very nice computer as well! This donation program ended, but if there were to be any future ones, we will need to find another person who could use it! Thanks again!!!:smiley20:

msprzeor
10-02-2007, 19:22
Steve, thanks for the thought - we'd love to be the recipients of any donations! If anyone is interested, here's some information we've been sending out ...

Hello -

I'm a teacher in Arizona and my husband and I are certified divemasters. Last year we started an underwater explorers club for the kids at my school who are ages 10-12. It is a free after-school program and we meet once a week for an hour. We have about 30 kids in the club who are excited to learn about ocean life...especially since we live in a desert! Right now we are teaching them about the ocean and aquatic life in our school's computer lab.

Kris & I are currently working on our instructor certification so we can get them certified as PADI Seals and Junior Divers. Last year we had a couple independent instructors (Rob & Jen Neto from Chipola Divers - formerlly Southwest Scuba) volunteer their time to run those programs and the kids had a blast. Unfortunately, Rob & Jen moved to Florida so the kids have to wait for us to get certified before they get in the water again, but they can't wait.

Since the program ran so successfully last year, we have had a lot of interest in it from students and families and are hoping to expand upon it. We are trying to provide the Seal Team free to all students in the club and at the end of the school year we would like to take a trip to California to visit an aquarium, the tide pools & do some snorkeling in the La Jolla Cove.

Our club was successful last year because of the support and donations
from many wonderful people and companies like ScubaToys. As you know, this isn't the cheapest sport and it requires a lot of gear...we could use anything you can offer! We can especially use masks, fins and snorkels ... and don't mind if they aren't new. If you know of anyone looking to get rid of gear or willing to to offer discounts for us, that would be fantastic! We're also always looking for any stickers, t-shirts or trinkets that we can give out as prizes ... we all know kids love that stuff ... and who doesn't love the free
advertising?!

We would gladly take anything you are willing to offer and we greatly appreciate any help!!! Feel free to pass this on to anyone you think may
be interested in helping kids learn to dive and gain a greater appreciation for the underwater environment. Thanks for your time & consideration. Have a wonderful day!

Thanks,
Mindy & Kris Przeor

Our club website - www.mpsaz.org/wilson/staff/msenloe/underwater.htm

MSilvia
10-03-2007, 09:58
With all the kind help of the divers and of course the folks at ScubaToys, we now have the complete setup for her.
Awesome! I wish her the best.

I'll gladly pass my $10 on to Mindy and Kris for their project then.

msprzeor
10-03-2007, 21:43
MSilvia -

Thanks so much!!! We really appreciate it ... our kiddos are so lucky to have such an awesome group of generous people! We couldn't do this without eveyrone's help!! :)

Big Mike
11-19-2007, 16:09
I'm sorry you are having to go through this...CPS here in Arizona is just as bad. Children are dying in foster homes or being abused by foster parents. I can only wish for the best with Carissa. Keep strong for all of you



It is rather a complicated story, but the short of it is that I was a "kinship foster home" as opposed to a licensed home (didn't have time for all that the day I got her from the hospital!). Things further deteriated between my brother and me so CPS did a change of placement. She currently resided in the ghetto. Yes, literally inner city Ponitac. It is very temporary (good thing, I was watching her house the other day because she was scared and there was a raid next door... yes, I even took pictures!). CPS's only intent is to reunite her with her birth parents (won't ever happen with mom as she is lostin the world ofdrugs). There is some hope with her dad, but she now really has a bond with our family too. That is helping her through these rough days. Amazingly, she has not turned to drugs through this and calls me regularly to say "I'm staying strong!" At least we still have perminant contact.
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>But to sum it up Frank- I am learning lessons of the CPS organization. Everytime they do something, you end up asking... "For Carissa's sake, shouldn't you NOT do that???!!!!!"</DIV>

rsmith5894
10-13-2009, 13:32
So what happened to Carissa? She should be about 18 by now, did she continue diving? More importantly, how did her home life turn out? What a great thing for all of you to do, I am impressed with the giving nature of this group.

Scuba Toys- Not just a place to buy gear and certs, people that care about people. The old fashioned way of doing business in America. I think I'll stick around!