In December, the SJCSD Teachers of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing had the opportunity to provide free hearing aids to community members in Hastings. Lend an Ear, a local nonprofit dedicated to giving the gift of hearing to those in need, sponsored the event. Funding was provided by the Ponte Vedra Beach and District Rotary Clubs.
By the end of the day, 38 people had been fitted with free personal hearings aids and a year’s worth of batteries and maintenance supplies. Hearing aids can range from $4000-$8000 a pair and are often not covered by insurance. For many recipients this event enabled them to reconnect with their families, activities and communities through the gift of hearing. During the event, statements such as “I can’t wait to hear my grandchildren for the first time,” and “My family will be so excited to talk to me again,” were accompanied by tears of joy. Lend an Ear has begun the process of repeating the event in communities within St. Johns County and surrounding counties.