In August 2016, the Hearing Charities of America (HCOA)—a nonprofit organization that assists deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals—officially launched a program called the Hearing Aid Project. 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 promoting a healthier hearing world, the HCOA announced.
Since its launch, the Hearing Aid Project has collected hearing aids that have sat in drawers or have been discarded after users purchased new hearing aids. According to HCOA, cash donations go toward the cost of refurbishing and fitting the donated hearing aids to their new recipients. These no-cost hearing aids help 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, according to the announcement.
“Getting new hearing aids is something I’ve agonized about for the last year or two,” said Brittany Schoen, who received a hearing aid from the Hearing Aid Project. “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.”
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, co-workers, and church. I was becoming a social recluse,” said 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 reportedly 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,” said 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, please visit: http://www.hearingaiddonations.org.
Source: Hearing Charities of America