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CEO & Founder of Deep Blue Adventures Cheryl Patterson explains, “We chose this cause for a number of reasons. As divers and travelers we experience many wonderful aspects of the countries we visit. We often fall in love with the surroundings, the food, the culture and of course what we find there beneath the surface. More often than not, the people are what touches us the most and deepens our experiences. We felt that highlighting a need of some of the warmest people we have ever met in one of our top-selling destinations would be an appropriate place to start. This is also something everyone can be involved in – we are not asking for money, we are asking for something very simple that many people are able to give – used or old reading eye glasses. Kids and teens can be just as involved as adults and no one has to dig deep in their pockets – that’s part of what Good Will Diving is all about. While foundations often desperately need financial support, and we will always encourage and be part of that, many of us are not aware that we can often make a huge difference in someone’s lives without it costing a penny. Finally, another reason we selected this program is it struck a very personal chord with one of our team members”.
“One night, during my recent trip to Fiji, I was chatting after dinner with another guest and Matava resort owner, Richard Akhtar. During our conversation, the subject of the needs of the Fijian Villagers came up and Richard immediately responded without hesitation, eye glasses. Having traveled to many remote diving destinations around the world and being welcomed and treated graciously by the locals we have thought of a small gesture to say "thank you". We as divers visit and enjoy these far off countries and return home with long lasting memories, photos, and souvenirs. So, why not give back a little to help out the remote villages of Fiji?”
While the glasses will be distributed to various villages in need across the country, Matava Resort on Kadavu who operates the Matava Foundation has agreed to assist Deep Blue Adventures in their first Good Will Diving venture by providing a contact point in Fiji and facilitating in getting the glasses to those that need it most. Organizations such as clubs or schools that participate in the Eyes For Fiji Program and elect to take a group to the resort will receive a Meke from the village, with an official handing over ceremony to the elders of the village as part of their week at Matava, a truly memorable experience.
If you are interested in contributing to this effort, you can do so simply by mailing in reading glasses, but Deep Blue Adventures is willing to absorb the postage costs involved on your behalf if you email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 888-266-2209 and request a self-addressed, postage paid envelope.
We are also encouraging dive stores, clubs, schools, scouts, business and other organizations to consider becoming a collection point for Eyes for Fiji and engaging their local community in an effort on a larger scale. Once the glasses are received any interested donors may request a $50 travel voucher as a thank you for their donation. Glasses collected will be sent on a regular and ongoing basis to the islands through the company’s various contacts. All vouchers will be distributed electronically due to conservation efforts also being made by the company.
On behalf of the people of Fiji, and all of our team members here at Deep Blue Adventures, we thank you in advance for your interest and support.