Estimates show that approximately 1 in 10 people live with some degree of hearing loss and that over 2 million are considered deaf. According to the Office of Deaf Access an estimated 3 million deaf and hard of hearing people live in California alone. The greater Los Angeles area and the surrounding counties are home for over 800,000 deaf and hard of hearing people. According to poverty statistics, approximately 14.3% of Californians lacked enough resources and an estimated 2.9 million Californians do not have health insurance.
The staff of Whittier Hearing Center have participated in many International Hearing Missions to places like Peru, Mexico, India and China. On those Mission Trips, as well as every day in our practice, we see how the Gift of Hearing changes lives. The Gift of Hearing can solve
communication problems, bring families closer together and can even save marriages! With hearing aids a young person can graduate college because they can hear their professors and participate in the educational experience; a professional can better serve their clients and maybe get a promotion; an elderly couple can rekindle a loving relationship when they are not constantly yelling at each other.
While it is wonderful to help people in other countries we recognize that there is a need in our local community. There are many people, from children to adults to seniors who have hearing loss and have not gotten hearing aids due to their inability to afford care. For the last few years Whittier Hearing Center tried to fill that need by fitting used hearing aids, donated by
our patients, on those who came into our office and could not afford new. However, the need has far exceeded our ability to fill, and that is why the Whittier Hearing Angel Foundation was founded. To allow us to help many more people and families to experience what the Gift of Hearing can do.
Through the Foundation we plan to hold a local Hearing Mission in Whittier on Oct 26, 2019 where we will fit a minimum of 25 people with sets of digital hearing aids. The gift will include new digital hearing aids and all the professional services and tests needed to properly fit and care for the hearing aids for one year. The cost to hold this event, and provide the hearing aids and services, will be at least $30,000. That is our fund raising goal for 2019. If we can raise additional funds we can use those to provide the Gift of Hearing throughout the year to those who come into our office and need it.
In 2020 we will hold a Hearing Health Expo to help educate the community regarding hearing loss. This event will have representatives from all major hearing aids manufacturer’s; educational speakers on the relationship between the brain and the ears; screening for balance problems; screenings for hearing loss; and many more educational vendors and speakers. This too will be funded by your donations to the Foundation.
In 2021 we plan to hold the 2nd Gift of Hearing Mission as we know the need continues and is not completely filled with just one event.