Braden Baker, a 10-year-old with “a heart as big as the state of Texas,” knows how important his Oticon hearing aids are to his life, and he wants to help give the gift of hearing to other children who are not as fortunate, Oticon announced. On August 23, the Fort Worth fifth grader presented a $15,000 check for the Oticon Hearing Foundation to Oticon President Gary Rosenblum. The non-profit Foundation supports the good works of hearing care professionals who volunteer their time and talents to bring sustainable hearing care to in-need communities around the world. Braden’s donation is expected to benefit more than 200 children, according to Oticon.
Braden started the GoFundMe campaign with his mom, Ashley. His original goal was $1,000. He credits Ellen DeGeneres and her support of worthy causes and a lesson learned after the family pet chomped on his hearing aids for giving him the idea for his GoFundMe initiative.
“My dog, Chewy, actually ate my hearing aids—not once, but twice,” said Braden. “My parents had to talk with me about the value of my aids and that replacing them was a big deal. I’ve learned my lesson, and I’m now hoping to help others.”
At the presentation ceremony, held at Oticon US headquarters in Somerset, New Jersey, Braden shared more good news. GoFundMe has selected his hugely successful campaign for its national showcase. He is hopeful that the national attention will drive more people and donations to his GoFundMe page. Ashley said it hasn’t always been easy for her son being the only kid in his class with hearing aids but “giving him this purpose has been amazing.”