RICHMOND, Va. -- For most of her life, 81-year-old Pat Legler heard a muffled version of the world. Legler's hearing was damaged as a child after years of abuse at the hands of her father.
"He use to hit me upside the head all the time," she said."He never hit my brothers. But it hurt twice as much. It hurt in here and it hurt my face. I couldn't understand it."
Legler said she turned to prayer to get her through the abuse and the tough years of adolescence. While she survived the physical abuse, it left her with a lifetime of hearing problems. Problems she never addressed due to financial and insurance-related concerns.
Recently, Pat's own daughter feared her mother's hearing problems were causing her to isolate herself as she aged. So Mary Kay Burnett reached out to help her mom.
She found the help in the form of the Beltone Hearing Care Foundation. The charitable organization offered to donate high quality hearing aids, so Pat could finally hear crystal clear.
Now Mary Kay can once again have meaningful conversations with her mother.
"I get choked up," Mary Kay said. "They gave her top of the line hearing aids and the difference in having a conversation with her now is huge... huge."
Since the foundation started in 2014, Beltone has donated hearing aids to nearly 800 people across the nation. Pat was one of 18 recipients here in Virginia.
"We're never going to replace the hearing that we're born with, but we can have that smile," Beltone hearing aid specialist Jonathan Jennings said. "That's what makes me to smile to think- job well done."
Hearing again has Pat seeing life in a whole new light.
"I thank God," she said. "I pray every day to my rosary. I'm still thanking God for that."
The Beltone Hearing Care Foundation was created to continue that caring legacy by formalizing a program to assist those in need of hearing help who may otherwise be unable to access it.
The following information was provided by Beltone:
What is the Beltone Hearing Care Foundation?
The Beltone Hearing Care Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation.
How are candidates nominated?
Candidates may be nominated by any Beltone dispensing office or network member. A nomination must be accompanied by a completed Beltone Hearing Care Foundation Application Form.
Are nominations limited to organizations or can individuals also be nominated?
Organizations and/or individuals are eligible to be nominated for the Beltone Hearing Care Foundation program.
Is there an application fee?
No, there is no application fee associated with the Beltone Hearing Care Foundation.
Is there a limited-time nomination window, or are nominations accepted anytime during the year?
Nominations are accepted at any time during the year, but must be submitted no later than 60 days prior to any scheduled fitting or charitable event.
How long does it take for a nomination to move through the selection process?
Once a completed application is received by the Beltone Hearing Care Foundation Board, there will be a 30-day review period before any approvals will be confirmed and/or communicated to the dispensing office.