Tis the Season: Consider Giving the Gift of Hearing

By Kevin M. Liebe

Usually by this time of the year, no doubt, you’ve already received countless requests for donations from a myriad of wonderful and deserving non-profit organizations across the country. Organizations like the Salvation Army, the Union Gospel Mission and many, many others come to mind.

However, in keeping with the hearing theme of our blog (“Hear Well, Live Well”), I’d like to use this week’s post to highlight a few non-profit organizations striving to make a difference:

Hearing Loss Association of America

hlaaThe Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) is one of the most active organizations working on behalf of people with hearing loss. HLAA provides assistance and resources for people with hearing loss and their families. They work on issues relating to communication access, public policy, research, public awareness, and service delivery related to hearing loss.

The highly successful Walk4Hearing events, which help promote public awareness of hearing loss, are held in cities across the US in Spring and Fall. In addition to the Walk4Hearing, HLAA has an extensive network of local and state chapters across the country, they produce an annual convention (Convention 2014 is in Austin, TX, June 26 – 29) and provide members a bi-monthly subscription to their award-winning Hearing Loss Magazine.

The HLAA is an invaluable resource for thousands of consumers with hearing loss and their families. As a non-profit organization, they do rely heavily on volunteers and donations to help continue their work.

Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss

The mission of the Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss is to make a direct and lasting impact on children who are deaf and hard of hearing around the world by providing them with access to hearing technology, professional support, and the educational resources they need to achieve their potential in hearing society and to be educated in mainstream settings.gfchl

The work of the Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit, has been discussed here at HHTM on multiple blog posts. They welcome donations and volunteers for their mission work.

Paige Stringer, Executive Director, is currently seeking audiologist volunteers for an upcoming mission to Vietnam in the summer of 2014.

Starkey Hearing Foundation

The Starkey Hearing Foundation has fit over 1 million hearing aids on people in need across the globe “So the World May Hear.” Its worldwide hearing missions have garnered international attention and praise. In August, former US President Bill Clinton and his daughter, Chelsea, joined the Starkey Hearing Foundation on a hearing mission through Sub-Sahara Africa.

SHF_logo_2013On a more personal note, the Hear Now program through the Starkey Hearing Foundation has been a wonderful addition to our practice over the past few years. Since Washington State cut Medicaid hearing aid benefits for adults approximately 2 years ago, the program has been a wonderful way to help those individuals who need, but cannot afford, hearing technology.

While there is an application fee involved, if the person is in significant need, we have several local benefactors that have agreed to anonymously pay for the fees. The process has been very rewarding for all involved.

The Starkey Hearing Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit and accepts donations, including old hearing aids through their Hearing Aid Recycling program.

Giving the Gift of…Silence?!

While I love the opportunity to help promote the gift of hearing, how about helping promote the gift of silence? For many individuals suffering from tinnitus, the gift of silence would be a true blessing. Today, approximately 10% of all veteran disability claims in the US Armed Forces are due to tinnitus.

ataThe American Tinnitus Association (ATA) believes that a cure for tinnitus is possible. They have helped provide support to tinnitus sufferers and their families for over 40 years. The ATA actively promotes tinnitus research and has provided over $5 million to tinnitus researchers since 1980.

The ATA relies on volunteers and donations to help fund and maintain its work. The Walk to Silence Tinnitus has become a popular annual event to promote tinnitus awareness and research.

The List Goes On…

So many of us take for granted this amazing gift we call “hearing.” Today’s post mentions just a small sample of the literally hundreds of organizations out there doing great work across the country and around the world that are deserving of support.

If you’re feeling generous this season, please consider donating to these or any of the wonderful hearing health organizations making a difference in our communities and around the world.


*Featured Image courtesy smallbiztrends.com

About HHTM

HHTM's mission is to bridge the knowledge gaps in treating hearing loss by providing timely information and lively insights to anyone who cares about hearing loss. Our contributors and readers are drawn from many sectors of the hearing field, including practitioners, researchers, manufacturers, educators, and, importantly, consumers with hearing loss and those who love them.