Low income individuals receiving hearing aids at no cost through Hearing Charities of America's Hearing Aid Project.
In August 2016, Hearing Charities of America (HCOA) officially launched a program called the Hearing Aid Project. Hearing health is a widespread issue with one quarter of Americans experiencing significant hearing loss. The Hearing Aid Project's mission to give low income individuals across the United States access to hearing aids at no cost is essential to tackling this issue and to promoting a healthier hearing world.
Since launched, the Hearing Aid Project has collected hearing aids that have sat in drawers or have been discarded after users purchased new hearing aids. Cash donations go toward the cost of refurbishing and fitting the donated hearing aids to their new recipients. These no-cost hearing aids eliminate the financial obstacles that keep many low-income men, women and children from getting the hearing aids they need to restore their quality of life.
"Getting new hearing aids is something I've agonized about for the last year or two. These hearing aids have allowed an expensive weight to be lifted off my shoulders. I feel like I can focus on my life and not my hearing," explains Brittany Schoen, who received a hearing aid from the Hearing Aid Project.
For many of those who receive free hearing aids, the Hearing Aid Project has prompted the beginning of new relationships, opportunities, careers and more. Patrick Newman was eight years old when he was left with substantial hearing loss. At the age of 45, his inability to hear had taken a toll on his relationships, and even held him back from a job. After failing a hearing test with a trucking company in Texas, he began seeking hearing aid assistance so that he could find employment. Patrick found the Hearing Aid Project and received hearing aids at no cost. He is now enjoying easier communication in the workplace and the many opportunities it has created.
The Hearing Aid Project helps connect recipients to the fundamental joys of everyday life and improves feelings of connectedness.
"Hearing loss was affecting my relations with my family, coworkers and church. I was becoming a social recluse," shares Hearing aid recipient, Donnie Thomas. "I did not realize how bad my hearing was until the aids were in! This is a huge blessing and it will enhance my life."
In its first year, the Hearing Aid Project has provided more than 55 hearing aids to cancer patients, grandparents, domestic abuse survivors, musicians, medical students and more. "Everyone has a story to tell and a story to live. We know that the gift of hearing empowers recipients to get the most out of their day-to-day lives," says Steven Murphy, executive director, Hearing Aid Project. "We have received a tremendous amount of support through the donations of hearing aids, and are always actively fundraising for the money it takes to ship, refurbish and fit them to those who need them."
The Hearing Aid Project has 45 participating providers, spanning 35 states, to help meet the growing demand for hearing aids. To support its mission, the Hearing Aid Project emphasizes three components: Get, Give, Help. One, getting low income individuals who need hearing aids referred to the Project. Two, giving hearing aids and cash donations to the Hearing Aid Project. Three, helping carry out its mission with an online personal fundraiser, recruiting audiologists to participate, and/or hosting a CELEBRATE SOUND Don't Walk in Silence® event to benefit the Project.
If you are interested in participating, supporting or learning more about the Hearing Aid Project and how it changes lives like it did for Brittany, Patrick, Donnie and others please visit hearingaiddonations.org
Hearing Charities of America is a nonprofit organization that supports those who are deaf or hard of hearing. The organization connects those who need information, education, hearing health services, and assistive devices with the resources they need to live a healthier hearing life. If you would like to become more familiar with this charitable organization and its programs, please contact HCOA at 816-333-8300 or visit hearingcharities.org
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