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Teaming Up to Serve

April 24, 2018

The Dominican Republic opened its doors and hearts to Starkey Hearing Foundation many years ago. Our country coordinators, Samantha and Antonio Canals, who have made it possible for us to expand our help for the people of this beautiful country.

In April, the team was able to join in helping more than 1,100 people in Santo Domingo and Santiago. We were able to embrace the culture, language, food and energy of the Dominican Republic spirit and share kindness to the world, one by one.

We were blessed to have Delta Zeta leadership and students join in the life-changing experience of doing a hearing mission, along with volunteers from SalesForce, Wichita University and several other friends of the Foundation. The conclusion for all involved was that helping others gave back more to the giver then to the receiver.

Yeilissa-and-Yeremy-dominican-republic Yeilissa (8) and Yeremy (11) are being raised by their aunt Juanilda. The family lives about two and a half hours from Santiago in a city called San Francisco. They made the several hour trek in hopes that they could be fit with hearing aids. Both children are now able to hear and their aunt was so happy for them and for the gift that they’ve been given. She knows that they’ll have a better future.


boy-getting-hearing-aids-dominican-republic “As I reflect back on our time in the Dominican Republic with Starkey this past April, two things in particular tug at my heart. First, as a mom, watching many moms and dads bring their children to the mission with so much hope. It started off as a hesitant hope and then uncontrollable tears of joy and relief overpower them when they see their children's eyes brighten as they hear for the first time. A parent longs to give his or her child the best opportunities in life. To watch that hope transform to pure joy on a parent's face — that is a gift I will treasure.

I have found myself, as I share the experience with others, coming back to the fact that the answer is within reach! I was shocked at how quickly most of the people would hear. For most of the men, women and children, they did not need a highly powerful hearing aid. As a mom to a teen myself, my heart hurt to see many 13, 14, 15, and 16-year-old teens who had not heard since birth. Living a decade and a half in silence. Usually behind their peers. Not for lack of intellect, but for lack of being able to hear. It was frustrating! We can fix this! I'm so thankful Starkey is out there, traveling the world, bringing these teens into a world of sound through the gift of hearing. They are positively impacting a whole generation!”
— Delta Zeta Student, Stacey
University of South Carolina, Delta Zeta, Beta Delta Chapter


elderly-man-getting-hearing-aids-dominican-republic “I could’ve never imagined how smoothly this mission would go with almost 500 patients arriving on-site each day. From the 70-year-old woman who got ear infections from playing in the river as a child, to the 5-year-old who heard the laughter of others for the first time — each of their stories were truly unique. Nothing can replicate the immaculate joy you could see on each patient’s face when they could hear again or were hearing for the very first time. During the mission, you are completely captivated by the people you are surrounded with — where they come from, what they value, and who they aspire to be; this includes patients, volunteers, and the Starkey team. I am blessed beyond measure to have experienced just a small fraction of what this foundation does to change these individuals’ lives. Becoming a part of the Angel Team has changed my life too. Not only was I able to see how someone’s life can be changed in a split second, but I also felt an outpouring of love like never before. Regardless of language barriers, everyone knows what pure love and joy looks, feels or even sounds like. To be a part of these loving and joyful moments is something I will cherish forever. Thank you to the Dominican Republic and Starkey Hearing Foundation for letting me be a part of your world, I am truly grateful for this unbelievable experience.”
— Delta Zeta Student, Jordan
University of South Carolina, Delta Zeta, Beta Delta Chapter



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