It’s here! It’s official! YAY!! Fall has arrived...and in Florida that means lower humidity and beautiful weather. You may be from up north or you may be “home grown” but either way... the Fall Season is a wonderful time of year. With the change of seasons, we realize that the holidays are just around the corner.
Thanksgiving is coming up fast. It is by far my favorite holiday. It is a time for family and friends to come together and just enjoy each other. It is a time that lets everyone reminisce and make new memories at the same time. Usually the holiday season just seems to make people a little happier. That is most people. However, some people may be dealing with the loss of a loved one. They may have depression and the holidays make it worse. Perhaps they have a disability like a hearing loss that makes socializing difficult. It is important to remember that everyone has their own issues and their own needs, and a little kindness will provide not just an immediate effect, but also a butterfly or ripple effect into their environment that will go on for generations. So, how can you help?
In Highlands County, we have many people who wear hearing instruments. We are an active community with many young seniors! There are many who have a hearing loss who cannot afford them. While many people may have insurance to help with the cost of hearing aids, or perhaps Medicaid ( (Medicare does not pay for hearing aids), most will have to pay for the hearing aids themselves. What do we do? In our community, our office, Lampe & Kiefer Hearing Aid Center, Inc. partners with the Starkey Hearing Foundation to provide hearing instruments free of charge to those who qualify. Starkey Hearing Technologies and the Starkey Hearing Foundation has been providing hearing instruments for those in need for 50 years. Co-Founders Bill and Tani Austin started the Foundation 30 years ago to get a more organized approach at helping those who “would otherwise live a quiet, muted life.” Their Mantra is “Alone we can’t do much. Together we can change the world”. Annually, they have the Starkey Hear Now Gala in Downtown St. Paul. At the last Gala that we attended, we had the opportunity to hear inspiring speakers about special life goals and successes. There were stars and celebrities and live auctions to raise money for this wonderful organization. We listened to President George W. Bush, President Bill Clinton and Ashton Kushner (he was awesome speaking about his organization that works with the FBI to catch Child Porn creeps on the internet). We got to hear from guests who have been helped from the foundation. We were entertained by Lionel Ritchie. “Brick Houuuse!! Rocked the house!” This is NO small foundation. The Starkey Hearing Foundation raised 8 million dollars that night so that Starkey Hearing Technologies can provide The Gift of Better Hearing. So far, they have provided over 100 million hearing aids in more than 100 countries. They do this by donations and literally thousands of volunteers.
Do you have some old hearing aids laying around? It doesn’t matter what style they are or how old they are. It doesn’t matter if they work. NEVER throw old hearing aids away. If you bring them to our office, Lampe & Kiefer Hearing Aid Center, Inc. located at 130 S. Commerce Ave. Downtown Sebring (PH 385-3497), we will send them to the Starkey Hearing Foundation in your name. They will send you a thank you letter that you can use as a write-off on your income taxes. (If they are working and you would rather they be used on someone locally, if at all possible, we will accommodate that wish). Starkey will then re-condition the donated instruments or salvage whatever components and plastics and use them to build hearing instruments for people in other countries. In the United States, people who need instruments will get new premium quality hearing instruments.
We all have many things to be thankful for. We are thankful that we are given the opportunity of partnering with the Starkey Hearing Foundation for over 30 years. This partnership has given us multiple blessings of providing the Gift of Better Hearing to hundreds of people locally. Community partners such as our office provides free hearing tests for applicants. We also provide (free) all services that are necessary to obtain, fit the instruments provided by Starkey Hearing Foundation, as well as all follow up appointments and on-going care. Look in your drawers today! You too can help to give the Gift of Better Hearing! Drop them by anytime! Thank you in advance! If you would like to know more about the foundation, visit www.starkeyhearingfoundation.com or Facebook: Starkey Hearing Foundation. Facebook: Bill Austin. Facebook: Tani Austin. Let’s help improve someone’s holiday season. To Hear Better Is To Live Better.