Kansas City, Missouri
Hearing Charities of America (HCOA) supports individuals and professionals who are deaf or hard of hearing through resources, awareness, and advocacy. Our primary service project, the National Hearing Aid Project (HAP), seeks to provide low-income elderly and working poor access to needed hearing aids and related services that otherwise are not available to them due to cost. We provide hearing aids to low-income individuals on a national scale.
HAP is collaborative program; our process begins by assisting applicants to evaluate resources within their state or community. Our goal is not to compete or replicate existing services, but instead, provide resources to those who do not qualify for existing programs. Approvals are based on income requirements based on 200% of the federal poverty level adjusted for local cost of living. HAP does not discriminate by age, race, or religion. The primary service in the HAP project are: accepting and reviewing applications, refurbishing hearing aids, performing hearing health evaluations, and soliciting support and services from others who can help support the project.
HAP works by coordinating individuals and organizations to fulfill a specific role in the process. Individuals and groups collect and donate hearing aids. A graduate student at University of Kansas Department of Hearing and Speech cleans, repairs, processes and tracks the hearing aids. Volunteers and donors raise money and host events to help provide support for the cost of the program. HCOA staff recruits and support these relationships and manages all applications, finances and legal functions. The HAP program is unique, because is one of the few that does NOT charge recipients for hearing aids or clinical services in the United States.
AN UNFORGETTABLE GIFT
At the impressive age of 94-years-old, Effie Wilson has remained independent and self-sufficient with the help of the Hearing Aid Project and her loved ones.
Effie's father dealt with hearing loss throughout his life, and her struggle to hear became prominent once she reached her seventies. Throughout the years, her hearing loss worsened and now Effie can no longer interact with those around her, watch her favorite TV shows or enjoy the laughter of her grandchildren.
"What I miss most is being able to take part in normal, everyday conversations," Effie said. "I enjoy having my family and friends visit, but it makes me sad when I'm not able to join in the conversation. I may be 94-years-old, but I still have a lot to say."
Due to Effie's hearing loss, glaucoma and other related health conditions, her son-in-law Rusty Hollingsworth took it upon himself to find her assistance.
He discovered the Hearing Aid Project online and was able to find Effie the help that she needed. Effie was recently fitted with two refurbished hearing aids, which have already made a tremendous difference in her life.
"Your organization has been wonderful taking us through the process," Effie said. "It is a dream come true for me."
If you would like to help others receive the gift of hearing you can do so by creating a personal fundraiser, or making a cash donation online. Every $500 changes a life.
"I can't tell you how excited your program made my mother-in-law," Rusty said. "These hearing aids have made such a difference for her. On behalf of her entire family, I want to thank you so much for everything you have done for her. You don't know how much of a difference you have made."
Our mission: creating a healthier hearing world through collaborations and by raising awareness.
Hearing Charities of America connects those who need information, education, hearing health services and assistive devices to those who can help meet their needs.