by Neil Bauman, Ph.D.
If you are like numbers of hard of hearing people who have worn hearing aids for some time, you probably have several sets of old hearing aids kicking around in your dresser drawer. You keep your previous set of aids as backup in case anything happens to your current aids. But what do you do with the older aids?
You don’t need them and they are just collecting dust. Why not give them to someone who needs hearing aids yet can’t afford them.
There are a number of programs available that collect and give away hearing aids. Unfortunately, just about all of them charge some money or have some limitations (application fee, ear molds, hearing test, service fee, just for kids, etc.) and that can put them out of the reach of the very people that really need hearing aids.
The Lakeland, Florida chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) plans to change this–at least in their local area. Each year they put on a Hearing Wellness Expo which is their primary fundraising event for the year. This year they will be using some of the proceeds to launch their new “Hearing Aid Recycling Program”.
As Art Matlock, the chapter’s past president explains, “Our program is set up to collect hearing aids. We will repair, clean and test these hearing aids. We will then match these hearing aids to qualified candidates in our community. The program includes the hearing aid, batteries, ear mold, hearing assessment, professional services, fitting, follow up services, and an Aural Rehabilitation class. The cost of all of this is covered by our Chapter, while funds last.”
He continues, “So far, we’ve collected 16 hearing aids, but we need more. Please send us your unneeded hearing aids (new, old, working or not working) to help make this program successful and allow us to expand, secure sponsors and financial donations, and help many more people who otherwise cannot afford to purchase a hearing aid and services.”
At the right you can see the flyer they have made available to help people spread the word. You can copy this flyer in pdf format at Lakeland HLAA flyer, then print a few and give them to your hard of hearing relatives and friends who also may have hearing aids to donate, or ask them for their aids and send them in yourself.
If you want to donate any hearing aids, go to their website at http://www.hla-lakeland.org/donate/hearing-aid-donation/ and fill in the form there and send a copy of it along with your donated hearing aids.
Thank you for helping someone receive the gift of hearing.