The Starkey Foundation has given the gift of hearing to over 800,000 people in the past 12 years with free hearing aids. In 2012 notable celebrities like Chelsea Clinton who helped Bill Austin distribute new hearing aids to hundreds of kids at Yankee Stadium. . And deaf kids still get excited upon receiving a free hearing aid. Deaf boy at 1:06 into the video (first video at top of page) signs and says while smiling "I have a new hearing aid! I am happy!"
At the Clinton Global Initiative in 2012 President Bill Clinton challenged Bill Austin to do more on providing free hearing aids to kids and adults around the world. Starkey Foundation for awhile remained "stuck" at 50,000 fittings a year decided to meet Bill Clinton's challenge to scaled up their efforts to more than 100,000 fittings a year to kids and adult so that they may experience, as Bill Austin said, the gift of hearing.
Besides Bill Clinton and Chelsea Clinton who are championing for free hearing aids to kids around the world so does Marlee Matlin who champions for the donation of free hearing aids to deaf and hard of children around the world. In fact she regularly attends this annual gala event called "So the world may hear." This year's gala 2012 event raised a record $7.6 million dollars and had many notable celebrities like:
President Bill Clinton, Maria Bello, Robin Williams, Marlee Matlin, Billy Crystal, Forest Whitaker and Sammy Sosa attended this year's Awards Gala, which raised a record $7.6M. But the biggest star was the power of hearing.Indeed, the power of hearing. Yes, that's a strong draw and reason for people to support on finding ways to alleviate hearing loss. Even Lou Ferrigno (who received his Esteem Envoy implantable hearing device) and Gary Busey who were at the gala event as well. It was Marlee Matlin who confronted Busey in the Celebrity Apprentice show about his hearing loss that he needs to get a hearing aid. It was on the Celebrity Apprentice when Marlee Matlin helped raise $1 million dollars for the Starkey Hearing Foundation. And now Gary Busey has become a big supporter on helping deaf and hard of hearing kids get their free hearing aids.
Now, here's the irony.
Marlee Matlin is perhaps unwittingly helping people understand and value the power of hearing for several years by attending the "So the World May Hear" gala annual event that began in 1984. Marlee Matlin supports the distribution of free hearing aids to children around the world and for them they are getting a taste of that power of hearing and experience the joy of being able to hear sound.