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Lions Club Launches Affordable Hearing Aid Drive: Largest Service Club Takes on Hearing Loss

The Lions Club is known globally for its good works especially its drive for used eye glasses that can be refitted and donated to those who otherwise couldnt afford them.

In October, 2007, Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF), in conjunction with hearing aid maker, Rexton, Inc., announced its latest philanthropic endeavor the Affordable Hearing Aid Project or Lions AHAP.

Hearing aids, even basic models, can be expensive out of reach of many family budgets. And so those who are unable to purchase hearing aids simply go without them. Each day, ever so slightly, diminishes in quality as sounds disappear from hearing range.

According to the LCIF release to the media, 95% of people who have hearing loss can be treated with a hearing aid. But heres the thing: 30% of individuals who experience some degree of hearing loss simply cant afford the hearing aids.

The Lions Club International Federation, located in Oak Brook, Illinois, has stepped up once again to help those in need. The partnership with Rexton, a hearing aid manufacturer headquartered in Plymouth, Minnesota, has been well received by the hearing health care community who overwhelmingly support this important drive. We are very excited to partner with Lions AHAP for such a great cause, said Rexton spokesperson, Dave Oberg, Director of Marketing and Sales at the company.

Hearing professionals have also expressed their appreciation to the Lions Clubs. Hearing aids are collected and completely rehabbed and refurbished to tip-top, running shape, delivering high quality sound and the rugged durability todays hearing aids are known for.

Making two aids [one for each ear, obviously] available gives a great choice in range of sound and quality. You could not buy a comparable aid if buying personally, so this is a very valuable program for people who cant afford aids, said Walt Schleutermann, a Board Certified Hearing Instrument Specialist in Maryland.

Audiologists, hearing aid dispensers and other hearing professionals are doing more than showing support. These professionals are working closely with local Lions Clubs. Local membership select worthy prospects for hearing evaluations. If the hearing health care professional determines that the patient would benefit from the use of a hearing aid, the local chapter orders an appropriate device from LCIF.

These refurbished hearing aids are shipped directly to the hearing professional who then performs adjustments to the unit to best suit the needs of the individual experiencing hearing loss.

Eligibility requirements have been carefully determined and laid out for applicants. These requirements for eligibility are determined on family income and asset criteria established by the Lions Clubs and the federal government. The LCIF employs the federal governments poverty guidelines to determine financial cut-off points based on region of the country. Local economies vary greatly and the Lions want to focus this drive on places where the need is greatest. Areas of poverty where a hearing device isnt even considered a possibility.

Through Lions AHAP, hearing impaired individuals, who would otherwise not be able to purchase hearing aids, can now enjoy an increased quality of life. Long involved in collecting eyeglass frames for those in financial aid, the Lions Club has added healthy hearing to its extensive agenda of humanitarian projects.

LCIF not only works on a small, hometown scale helping neighbors, the foundation also provides grant funding to Lions Clubs at the district level to implement projects on a larger scale.

Ready to Help Your Local Lions Club?

With over 1.3 million members across 200 geographic regions and countries, Lions Clubs help individuals around the world and around the corner. LCIF, the charitable arm of the organization, assists local chapters in a variety of ways.

And the organization is proud of its record. In fact, a Financial Times study ranked the Lions Club International Foundation as the number one non-government organization in the world. One reason is that the foundation enables local chapters to identify and assist those in need at the most personal level in the communities in which they live.

The goal of LCIF is simple: to ease pain, to alleviate suffering and bring healing to those in need. Like to help? Have an old hearing aid collecting dust in a drawer? Or maybe youd like to make a cash donation to this most worthy cause?

Either way, you can learn more about the Lions Club International Foundation at www.lcif.com.

You can make a real difference with very little effort. So join the givers of your town the Lions Club, in helping hearing-impaired men, women and children lead a better quality of life regardless of where they live.

Youre just a click away.

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