YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A famous elf once said, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.” But some have missed hearing that cheer for a long time. On Sunday, that changed for people across the Valley.
The Hearing Missions Foundation, an affiliate of Centers for Hearing Care, provided a life-changing gift for Valley neighbors on Sunday. Sixteen people received hearing aids as part of the 10th annual Hearing for the Holidays.
“As we like to say, there’s 32 ears that have been helped today,” said Fortunato Figliano, executive director of the Centers for Hearing Care.
Recipients were from Mahoning, Trumbull or Columbiana counties in financial crisis. With hearing aids being so expensive, this helped each recipient avoid those costs.
“This helps us really keep our mind on the fact that we are in business to help people hear better, and that’s why we do it,” Figliano said.
Recipients first took a diagnostic evaluation before going to Fellows Riverside Gardens, which provided a prescription for their hearing aids.
Upon arriving, they were then fitted with their new hearing aids. Afterward, they went to a short class to learn how to use them.
Being able to hear again meant a lot to the recipients.
“Well, it’s just been a few minutes, but it’s fabulous,” said Thelma Ellis, of Liberty.
Ellis has 11 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. She said her hearing has decreased little by little.
“My granddaughter that’s here would say in the car, ‘Nana, can you hear me now?’ And she’d yell,” Ellis said.
With her new hearing aids, Ellis is excited to talk to her grandkids again.
“I am so blessed, so blessed, that there are people like them that help,” Ellis said.
Member of Youngstown State University’s Delta Zeta sorority also volunteered. They provided food baskets for each recipient, making this Hearing for the Holidays even more special.