A world where we hear one another…Listen to one another…Understand the way to make a difference.
Each year, the Starkey Hearing Foundation, founded by Bill Austin, CEO of Starkey Laboratories, sponsors missions to villages around the world: fitting hearing aids, educating and counseling community leaders, teachers and families to improve hearing health.
The goal: to enable millions of children to hear the sounds of their world… and to inspire others to do whatever they can to make a difference in the world. The ripple effect of every mission is infinite.
Palestine, Spring 2011: The Starkey Hearing Foundation team ventured to the West Bank to fit 1,000 Palestinian children and adults in Tulkarem with hearing devices. The mission involved a breakthrough collaboration between the Foundation, the Sheba Medical Center, and Physicians for Human Rights-Palestine.
Trust was established between neighbors divided for generations. The Israeli audiologists from Sheba had never been to the Palestinian territories and were worried crossing the borders. Palestinian guards patrolled the tented area with machine guns over their shoulders as the volunteers began their work. By the second day, the soldiers let their guard down, noting the magic that was happening for the people – young and old- whose hearing was being restored. Soon the soldiers were talking to Israeli translators, learning to express gratitude in each other’s languages.
More than any mission before it, the effort demonstrated how a restored sense of hearing – and, by extension, the ability to listen and talk and laugh-could serve as a conduit for understanding. Starkey Heading Foundation Executive Director Steven Sawalich called the mission a ‘culmination of what we do and what we’re about.”
Mexico, Summer 2011: The Starkey Foundation team went to the western state of Jalisco, Mexico. They delivered and fit over 4,000 hearing devices. Experiencing the joy of so many hearing aid recipients conveyed a simple truth: you can learn a lot more about someone face-to-face than by reading about them in the paper.
Rwanda, 2011: A mission to Rwanda was a follow up to the Foundation’s efforts earlier in the year. On this mission, the Foundation team provided services for the children in seven schools. They met with the Minister of Health in Rwanda, to involve hospital personnel throughout Rwanda in the identification of those with hearing issues.
Las Vegas, Nevada: Hearing loss needs aren’t confined to other countries. On one day in June, the Las Vegas Hilton opened its doors to a cast of stars as the foundation team fit hearing aids for children and adults who live in and around Las Vegas. Among those helped was one family of four who all received new hearing aids. Counseling was provided on how to maintain the devices and protect their hearing going forward.
Find out more: You can find out more about the Starkey Hearing Foundation, its goals, it achievements and other mission trips in 2011 by visiting the Starkey Hearing Foundation website or reading their recent publication about the year.
Note: For for his decades of work bringing the gift of hearing to those in need through the Starkey Hearing Foundation, Bill Austin, CEO of Starkey Laboratories and founder of the foundation, was awarded the ‘2011 Jefferson Award for Outstanding Service by an Entrepreneur on June, 2011.
Sound Choice Hearing Center is proud to be a part of the Starkey family, providing you with quality Starkey Hearing Aids at affordable prices.
Call us today at 317-292-9854 to help us take care of your precious gift of hearing.