Monday, February 9, 2015

Affordable Hearing Aids?

Affordable hearing aids are harder to find than one might expect. My parents live in California, and my father went to get a set of hearing aids in December. The whole family was surprised to find his hearing aids cost $5,000. We were definitely thankful this Christmas that my parents had the funds available to pay for them. The ability to hear is one of the aspects of life we often take for granted. My Dad was literally driving my Mother mad, since she would ask him things, and he could never hear her. She told me she had to make sure he was looking directly at her when she spoke to him so he could read her lips. The hearing aids had a huge impact on both my parents in that regard.    



When I saw an opportunity to volunteer at The Center for Hearing & Speech, I jumped at the chance to get involved. I guess seeing the effect hearing aids had on my parent’s lives really convinced me that there must be a huge need for underprivileged folks to gain access to hearing devices. I’m really just beginning to volunteer here, but have already learned a lot about the diverse options available to their clients. Thankfully not all hearing aid sets cost $5,000. There are options to fit almost all budgets, but The Center also provides care and devices to folks who rely on Medicare and Medicaid. This is where the biggest need lies. The Center holds many special events during the course of the year to encourage people to donate money to their cause. Donations are pivotal for The Center to continue to offer hearing devices to those who cannot afford them, and the good people of St. Louis have always been very generous.

The Center has assembled a fantastic team of audiologists, assistants, and clerical staff to work with their clients, but also their talented behind the scenes players organize their donor events, and everything necessary to run a non-profit organization. The support they receive from their Board of Directors also factors into their success.

My professional background is in marketing for dentists, and I often use this motto for my clients, “Changing Lives One Smile at a Time.” I think I’ll have to come up with a slogan for The Center. They really are changing lives every day, and I feel blessed to be a part of the team.

I have volunteered at my local church on many occasions such as Vacation Bible School (a one week event for kids each summer), to paint and work at the church, and as a member of the choir each week. Volunteering at The Center has been a wonderful avenue for me to extend my reach into the community so I can volunteer more regularly.

Have you volunteered, or donated money to an organization that was dedicated to helping improve the lives of people in such a tangible way? The Center for Hearing and Speech would love to have you get involved. Volunteers and donations are always welcome. To find out more about how you can help, email Martha Coleman at colemanm@chsstl.org

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