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Delta Zeta Joins the Hearing Mission

September 30, 2016

Speech and hearing has been Delta Zeta Sorority’s national philanthropy since 1954. Over a half decade later, in 2006, the sorority voted to make Starkey Hearing Foundation a philanthropic partner.

The partnership has only grown tighter from there.

In 2015, Delta Zeta committed to donate $5 million to the Foundation, and more than a million of that has already been donated. The campaign to raise money began last year with Hike for Hearing, encouraging Delta Zeta women to trek about their campuses and fundraise.

The bonus was thrown in that the seven women who raised the most money from Hike for Hearing will be asked to join Starkey Hearing Foundation on a hearing mission.

That came to fruition in late September as the seven top fundraisers, along with Delta Zeta Foundation President, Virginia Loftin, joined the Foundation for a hearing mission in Toluca, Mexico.

The Delta Zeta women wasted no time in getting right to work. The morning of the first day they learned the WFA® Fitting Method, and within hours they were fitting hearing aids on patients. Beyond fitting, the sorority members really took it upon themselves to make a personal connection with each patient who came their way.

“One of the big takeaways for me has been the dignity of every single person we’ve helped,” Loftin said. “When you look them in the eye and see that there’s a person in there who really only wants to hear the voices of the people they love, and have that independence that having all of our senses gives us.”

What truly makes the Delta Zeta’s hearing work standout was the number of patients they each fit. Each of the four days of the hearing mission had well more than 500 patients, and by the end of the week every member had helped over 100 people. Never a single complaint about the long days, they were all in to help as many patients as they could.

“Being able to see people’s lives change in a second when they begin to be able to hear was really amazing and I feel truly blessed to be a part of it,” Isabella Figueroa of the University of Texas Rio Grande Delta Zeta Chapter said.

The entire Starkey team was impressed by the determination all the Delta Zeta women showed. We hope having sorority members be a direct part of our work to give the gift of hearing will only continue to strengthen the relationship between the two organizations. 

“It was incredible watching the Delta Zeta women in action,” Brady Forseth, Starkey Hearing Foundation executive director of philanthropy said. “It was easy to see the emotion they felt as they connected with patient after patient. We hope they share those feelings across their chapters and tell the Delta Zetas about the impact their efforts in supporting the Foundation are having around the world.”

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