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Hearing loss charities: Where are they now?

Last year during the holiday season, we highlighted five organizations that are doing extraordinary work to provide resources for and support children and adults who have hearing loss. Here's a recap of these wonderful organizations, what they've done in the past year and what you can do to help:

Help Me Hear Foundation

For needy families who have a child born with permanent hearing loss, poverty may bar them access to cochlear implants, hearing aids and therapies, which are vital in language development but also typically expensive. Help Me Hear Foundation, a public charity, provides financial assistance and services to children living in poverty around the world so that their hearing loss doesn't cause them to miss out on the vital development years of early childhood. Supporting Help Me Hear means giving a gift of hearing that can last a lifetime and profoundly change a needy child's life. If you're interested in supporting Help Me Hear Foundation, there are various ways to help, including sending a check, hosting a fundraiser, donating online, volunteering or giving a gift in kind.

Dogs for the Deaf

Dogs for the Deaf does great things on two fronts: Not only do they rescue dogs from the shelter at risk of euthanasia, but they also train the dogs as hearing dogs and companion animals for individuals with hearing loss. The past year was an exciting one for Dogs for the Deaf.

Dogs for the deaf charityThe organization hosted a Live from New York fundraising event in Manhattan on April 13, 2013. The event featured celebrity supporters and there was a demonstration by one of the organization's trained dogs, Ginger, who is both a hearing dog and an autism assistance dog. On cue, Ginger showed how she and other dogs provide every day - and sometimes life-saving- assistance to their owners. On October 27, Dogs for the Deaf hosted Hooray for HollyWOOF 2 - another fundraiser that came on the heels of last year's successful event. Celebrities like Betty White were in attendance at this Los Angeles-area event. Also, the organization recently won a car in Toyota's 100 Cars for Good contest, which will allow them to travel to rescue more dogs, get vet services and serve more clients.

If you're interested in helping, you can support Dogs for the Deaf in various ways, including making an online donation, sponsoring a specific dog, purchasing items from the online store or purchasing dog care items and toys from the Dogs for the Deaf Wish List.

Global Foundation for Children with Hearing Loss

Global Foundation for Children with Hearing Loss operates at the intersection of education and hearing. While hearing impaired children in the U.S. often have access to technology and programs to receive education like other children, globally, only 10 percent of kids with hearing loss have access to education. Global Foundation for Children with Hearing Loss works to remedy this situation through teacher, therapist and medical professional training, research and the distribution of hearing devices to children in developing countries. Currently, the group is working in Vietnam on its Deaf Education Program. Though global Foundation for Children with Hearing Loss is a young organization, it has already made a big impact: Since the summer of 2010, the group has trained more than 220 teachers, 125 medical professionals and 270 families, and it has fitted more than 320 children with hearing aids.

You can support Global Foundation for Children with Hearing Loss through online donations, vehicle donation and various volunteer opportunities for those with a degree in hearing and speech sciences or deaf education.

Alison's Hope for Hearing

This organization was founded in 2009 after beloved audiologist Alison Berry died in a car accident. The organization supports people with hearing loss through outreach and education, and it donates and fits hearing aids for those who are unable to afford them. The organization is completely volunteer-run and relies on donations and financial assistance from corporate and individual donors, as well as services donated by hearing healthcare professionals. Alison's Hope for Hearing has had several successful fundraisers recently. If you'd like to support this great cause, you can donate online or purchase various gifts or T-shirts that benefit the cause.

American Society for Deaf Children

This organization, which was established in 1967, operates on the mantra that all children should have full access to communication in their schools, communities and homes. American Society for Deaf Children supports early language development programs, and it serves as a network of support for parents and families with deaf children. ASDC is a wealth of information, especially for parents whose children were recently diagnosed with hearing loss, and provides the latest research and events around the country for families with a hearing-impaired child.

If you'd like to support this great cause that helps families find information and support in difficult circumstances, you can make a donation to ASDC or purchase a membership.

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