Instead of discarding used hearing aids, donate them.
Recently a woman asked me what to do with a pair of hearing aids that were used by her deceased mother. I explained to the woman that she could bring them into Hearing Plus, LLC and we will donate them to the Hear Now Foundation in the woman's mother's memory.
It is a wonderful way to give the gift of hearing to the world. "'So the world may hear," as Bill Austin, founder of Starkey Laboratories, would say. Allow me to discuss this organization and why we team up with them and their cause.
According to Sarah Bricker of Starkey Hearing Technologies, the Hear Now Foundation is a nonprofit group which is both financially and application based with guidelines for assistance that need to be met and support documentation that is required before assistance is given. Setting forth guidelines necessitates a verification process to determine eligibility on a case-by-case basis.
Hear Now primarily serves an older population since there are usually services available for those under 18 or 21 years old. It is a national program serving those who are permanently in the United States.
In 2014, the program provided 9,671 hearing aids to 5,200 people in the U.S. The program is in great demand today because the population is aging rapidly. Hear Now is so important because hearing loss is such an isolating reality. If it is important to have people engage with each other, family, education, the workforce, society in general, it is necessary for people to be able to re-establish or maintain those connections.
The age group served through this Hear Now is also at or approaching an age when the savings they might have been able to put away for the future are now being used for medical bills and living expenses. In the light of those costs, purchasing hearing aids is the last item on the list.
Sister Joanita, the powerhouse behind the Hear Now program, first took her vows in 1966 and is still a Sister of St. Agnes to this day. As an Audiologist, I view Joanita as a modern-day Mother Theresa for the hearing impaired. She will send a letter to keep with your tax records if you plan to take a charitable deduction. You will then consult your tax advisor or accountant regarding any tax consequence of your contribution to Starkey Hearing Foundation, a 501 @ (3) non-profit organization. No goods or services are ever received in exchange for your donation.
We also take used or old hearing aids to enable others to hear the sounds of their loved one's voice, participate in conversation, pursue an education or seek gainful employment.
Rather than have your hearing aids in a drawer that doesn't hear, help someone else with the gift of hearing by donating them to the Starkey Hearing Foundation. It gives you a gift back knowing you are helping others communicate with the world.
Mr. Bill Austin's mantra, "Alone we can't do much, but together we can change the world." At Hearing Plus LLC, we hope and pray this becomes a raging fire of compassion and giving around the world. We thank you on behalf of those this gift is given to.
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Patricia Larson Shields, AuD FAAA MA CCC-SP/L is a doctor of audiology with her degree from The School of Audiology of the Pennsylvania College of Optometry in February, 2003. She has been in business in Mitchell, SD since September, 1991.