Giving the gift of hearing to a person who might otherwise remain partially deaf and isolated from their family is a noble thing to do. Especially, since recycled hearing aids tend to end in the crusher because there are too many different types to make recovering the materials viable.
There are a number of trustworthy charities making donating unwanted hearing aids easier. Of course, this is on the understanding they are in good working order and could brighten up a partially deaf person’s life.
We’ll start by discussing what makes used hearing aids suitable gifts, and how to get them to your chosen charity so they can begin their second life. After that, we’ll provide a list of some charitable organizations, although you may prefer to go direct to your local chamber of commerce for advice. Then finally, we’ll make suggestions on preparing hearing aids for shipping.
I’m Thinking of Donating Hearing Aids What Charities Should I Look At?
Charities want to give the gift of better hearing to those who are hard of hearing or even partially deaf. They don’t want to have disappointed people returning broken hearing aids because they don’t function properly any more.
Moreover, they don’t have an endless supply of money to make new molds for in-canal hearing aids. Behind the ear ones like we sell new for the modest price of under $200 a pair are preferable, because the second owner just needs inexpensive ear buds.
Therefore, the best hearing aids for donating are those that don’t suit their original owner but still do the job:
- Their hearing may have deteriorated to the extent they need more powerful ones
- A child may reach the age where they can undergo reconstructive surgery
- An uncle, aunt or parent may reach the end of their life and no longer need them
Behind-the-ear hearing aids that have become surplus, but still work well are therefore arguably the best candidates for re-owning.
Some of the Best Places to Donate Working Hearing Aids
Did you know there are millions of people in the U.S. who are hard-of-hearing but can’t afford a health insurance willing to pay for hearing aids? Heaven knows, there could be one just down your street in your zip code. There may even be a local charity in your home town searching for people donating hearing aids right now.
The Hear Now Hearing Aids Recycling Foundation
Hear Now accepts gift of all kinds of hearing aids for refurbishing and gifting to people with hearing loss. They are part of the Starkey Hearing Foundation and have resources to do this.
It’s tax refundable and they’ll provide the documentation. But you may need to send the hearing aids through the mail.
Lions Club Places to Donate Hearing Aids
The Lions Club International Hearing Aids Recycling Program HARP places collection boxes in libraries, banks, and some optician’s offices. This is a great way to put old hearing aids back in the system. Give your local Lions office a call to find your nearest collection point.
Charities with Children at Heart
The Center for Hearing and Speech for Kids assists infants and children with hearing difficulties. They are always reaching for donations and they accept all makes and models.
Help the Children Hear provides refurbished hearing aids to kids in Argentina, Honduras, and the Philippines.
The Flying Doctors of Mercy give used hearing aids to kids in Mexico. You can happily take your pick from any of these organizations.
How to Prepare Packages when Donating Hearing Aids
The Hearing Aid Project is always on the lookout for people donating hearing aids in working order. Based on their advice and our own thinking, we recommend the following approach:
- Clean the old hearing aids by wiping them down with a soapy cloth almost squeezed dry.
- Remove the old batteries, but send them with the package if they are recyclable. Insulate with electrician’s tape.
- Pack the hearing aids in an empty pill bottle with cotton balls or fold them in thin bubble wrap.
- Include your name and address so they can confirm they arrived safely and thank you for your gift.
- Add a note of the make and model and purchase date if you have this information.
Blue Angels Hearing provides this advice on places to donate hearing aids as a public service, because we wish everybody could afford to hear clearly again. We sell affordable hearing aids direct from factory at bargain prices in case you’re interested, as our contribution towards achieving this goal.