What Worldwide Charities Offer Free Hearing Aids?

Sara Schmidt

Many different charities and nonprofit organizations around the world provide free or low-cost hearing aids to people in need, though providing a comprehensive list is somewhat difficult due to the number of groups and the possibility that they will change their terms or shift their focus over time. Historically, however, the biggest names in free hearing aids are the Gift of Hearing Foundation, Hearing for Children, and Hear Now. These three tend to focus most of their attention on children. All are based in the United States, but tend to do a lot of their work in the so-called “developing” world — countries with poor government infrastructures and large populations living in poverty. Rotary International and the Lions Club are two other big names in the hearing aid arena, though these more often work with elderly clients and provide both assistance and counseling for low-income people or people without adequate health coverage. Depending on where a person is, there may also be a number of local charities or governmental programs that can be of assistance.

A doctor or health professional can help the hearing impaired find local assistance for free hearing aids.
A doctor or health professional can help the hearing impaired find local assistance for free hearing aids.

Qualifications and Broad Parameters

Getting free hearing aids is usually a bit more complicated than simply applying or signing up. Charities usually have a list of parameters that people need to meet to get aid, including things like income bracket, location, and age. A formal medical evaluation might also be required, though many charities also provide screenings along with other services. Some groups enter into poor communities with the goal of providing basic medical care, then isolate people with suspected hearing loss for extra help; others set up free hearing clinics to identify those most in need. It’s usually estimated that about 95% of the people in the world with hearing loss could benefit from a hearing aid, though in most cases only about 30% can afford one. Charitable trusts and organizations can fill this gap.

Numerous worldwide charities provide hearing aids to patients in need.
Numerous worldwide charities provide hearing aids to patients in need.

Gift of Hearing Foundation

The Gift of Hearing Foundation's mission is to provide low-cost cochlear implant surgery to help restore hearing loss. The foundation is based in the United States and many of its patients are located there, but the foundation also sponsors services around the world. This group also provides free screening and hearing-related health services to hearing impaired people without insurance or affordable care. Both children and adults can benefit, though historically most aid goes to people under 20 years of age.

Hearing loss is one of the most common conditions affecting elderly individuals.
Hearing loss is one of the most common conditions affecting elderly individuals.

Hearing for Children

Hearing for Children is a similar group that provides cochlear implants for children predominantly, but also some adults in countries around the world. It requires patients to pay what they can, and then distributes low or no interest loans to fulfill the rest of the cost. In most cases free hearing aids are available for patients who are completely unable to pay. The group is closely linked with the Help Me Hear Foundation, which gives hearing aids to impoverished children with hearing difficulties across the world.

The Help Me Hear Foundation provides hearing aids to poor children everywhere.
The Help Me Hear Foundation provides hearing aids to poor children everywhere.

Hear Now

Hear Now, a project of the Starkey Hearing Foundation, assists residents of the United States who are deaf or hard-of-hearing and have limited financial resources. United States residents may also benefit from the Sertoma Club, a civic service organization that provides hearing and speech support. The Disabled Children's Relief Fund, which helps children with disabilities obtain medical equipment, including hearing aids, is also active in many communities around the world.

Rotary International

Rotary International is a worldwide service organization made up of 1.2 million business, professional, and community leaders. Together they provide a range of charitable provisions and health services, but free hearing aids are often included if the circumstances warrant. The majority of the beneficiaries of hearing aid programs are located in countries without strong healthcare systems or government programs.

Lions Club

The Lions Club International Foundation does a lot of work with hearing aid refurbishment. It collects used hearing aids, then services and repairs them for re-distribution to people with proven financial need. The majority of the beneficiaries are adults, and most of them elderly, but children may also receive aids based on availability.

Exploring Local Options

There are many more charities that work on a more localized level, or that work within specific communities. Doctors and other health care professionals are often able to direct people in need to both local and international services that provide hearing aids at little or no cost. Schools and government health and rehabilitation services for children or people with disabilities, such as Medicaid in the United States, may also be able to help. Implant centers frequently have information about charitable programs that may be available to patients, as well.

Hearing aid users are more prone to earwax blockage.
Hearing aid users are more prone to earwax blockage.

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Discussion Comments


My nephew in Ethiopia was born without an ear. There is a small stub sticking out. He is very shy and introverted. Does anyone know a charity organization that can help with surgically repairing his ear? Thanks!


I'm saving really hard to buy my elderly father's hearing aids. The audiologist recommended that my father takes the finance option, and it seems the easiest solution, but one that we just can’t afford. Walking out of that clinic with no more than a pamphlet was hard. It felt like I let my dad down. Dad's words were, “It’s OK love. Let's go home.” It makes me determined more than ever to help him hear.

It’s hard to watch my father’s face of confusion, the smiles, the gentle nods, the “what was that question?” over and over again The hopelessness. It breaks my heart I have cried so many tears. It’s so hard to watch someone you love struggle. Wish me luck $6500 nzd is my goal.


I have a brother who lost his hearing while he was sick and due to excessive antibiotics. I would love to know if there is any assistance on him getting hearing aids so he can live a normal life.


I would like to have the cheapest and best hearing aid for me.


You should check with your department of health and human services. They have free clinics and doctors that can prescribe you and recommend free medication and or medical devices. You also may want to check out any sort of living assistance, Medicare. Depending on where you live they have localized government health insurance for the uninsured. You may be qualified, or your parents, and use theirs, depending on how old you are.


This is a great help for those who losses their hearing capabilities. I am a mother who also had a child who had hearing problem. She is three years old now and the time we knew that she had hearing problem is when she was two. We already sent her to hearing institutions like the Manila Hearing Center but then they said that my child needed to undergo cochlear implant which cost millions.

It's bad news for us parents because we didn't have enough money to have our child get the cochlear implant. That's why whoever those who have kind hearts please help my child to be able to hear the beauty of sounds that God gave us.


Well I am one of those seniors that was actually the benefactor of one of these amazing charities to give me the gift of hearing. As an elderly gentleman I have not been able to afford my own hearing aids for a very long time and because of this I always had to get by with very low quality options that made it obvious I have hearing aids in my ears.

Now that I've been given professional quality custom fitted hearing aids from my physician, I feel a lot more confidence not only the ability for my ears to comprehend my loved ones are saying to me but also in public because I don't feel embarrassed to have two pieces sticking from the protrusions of my ears.

I already have enough your hair is an old man I don't need extra thing sticking out awkwardly and making myself embarrassed in social situations. Thanks to the organization donated my hearing aids and I encourage anybody who's in the position to donate, please donate to a hearing aid charity organization.


Many seniors that are at disadvantaged economic status have difficult times obtaining the proper kind of medical attention that they need. Because of this, obtaining quality remains is difficult challenge for these seniors. Often, because of their small budgets or subsidized income space on welfare services or Social Security benefits, discount hearing aids are purchased and are popular among their groups because of their cost.

While these discount hearing aids might do an okay job, they often do not last as long as the higher-quality hearing. There is always the old saying that you get what you pay for. When we think of the market in that sense, it makes a better logical argument to afford a more costly and quality hearing aid.

Like all things that are available on the market, however there is always a difference between price and quality. Just because a hearing aid cost more doesn't mean that it necessarily is a better quality hearing aid. Because of these differences you should consult a physician specifically your physician to ensure that you are obtaining the proper type of hearing device that will continue to 80 your quality of life as you reach into your golden years.


While hearing aids are a great thing for charities to help older people with, I do think there are many parts of elderly care that are neglected and charities could definitely help with. I also think that if there are international charity organizations that are helping the elderly with free hearing aids for seniors, I think you need to get the word out about how to get free hearing aids.

After all, the people that get the most can't hear the commercials. In this case the type of marketing materials that an international charity organization would need to succeed in spreading the gift of hearing would be written material.

Hopefully these charity organizations are not dispersing the kinds of hearing aids that do not work properly. Before people give to a charity they should investigate what kind of hearing aids are being given to the benefactors of these deaths. Only the best hearing aids available on the market should be given because it will ensure longevity of a gift that has been donated to help these people hear..


Any time an international charity organization has intentions of helping the elderly generations, I have to applaud. The world has seen many charity organizations that focus specifically on children but there are not that many that focus specifically on the elderly and I think that is a sad thing.

The ability to spread the gift of hearing aids to people in their elder years is a beautiful thing. The use of hearing aids enables people of older generations to continue living life normally for longer. Hearing aid prices are skyrocketing with medical costs and as healthcare insurance is becoming harder hard to obtain for the older people in our lives we must focus on helping to bring charities capable of delivering digital hearing aids to our elders.

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