Teri's China Adventure Part 2 - The Starkey Hearing Foundation

by Teri E. Popp, Tastemaker in Residence

The purpose of our families visit to China was in support of the Starkey Hearing Foundation--a charitable organization that supplies hearing aids free to those in need throughout the world.  We have participated with Starkey and sponsored many hearing aid missions the world over. The China trip proved to be both rewarding and historical in nature as this was the first charitable mission sanctioned by the Chinese government in close to a century. The importance of the mission, not just in terms of offering help to those in need, but in trying to help build a bridge to greater understanding between our cultures was evidenced when the Chinese government opened the doors to the City of Xi'an to our group and hosted an event full of pageantry and cultural poetry.

But the highlight of any Starkey Foundation trip truly is giving the gift of hearing to those in need. Starkey has distributed over a million hearing aids to countries all over the world, including a large disbursement of hearing aids in the United States. On our trip to China, we fitted 6,000 hearing aids over the course of 10 full days--5 days in Xi'an (a city of 13 million residents) and Chengdu (9 million in habitants). There truly is nothing like the smile of a child as they hear for the first time, or an adult has they regain their hearing after many years-sometimes decades-of hearing loss.

Working alongside young volunteers from colleges in Xi'an and Chengdu exposed both us, and the students who worked with us, understand that we are all citizens of a global world!

Tune in next week as Teri discusses the theatrical and musical beauty and offerings of China and its people.