On the Idaho State University campus there is a group of student who, although short on time and money themselves, are reaching out to help children who can't help themselves.
Over the weekend the ISU ballroom was filled with great neighbors; professors and students giving out free information and health screenings for the community. The audiology department was informing people about the dangers of loud music and other noise.
"When you lose your hearing, even though hearing aids and other assisted devices can help, it's never as good as what our original hearing was like, and so if we can protect it and keep it as good as we can, so much the better," ISU assistant professor of audiology, Chris Sanford explained.
Especially impressive was what the Student Academy of Audiology was doing. These graduate students were not only doing free screenings, but were helping children.
"We are trying to raise money for children in the Pocatello community who need hearing aids who cannot afford them," Student Academy of Audiology member, Victoria Holcomb, said.
Hearing aids can cost thousands of dollars. That's money many families don't have. So the students are offering custom molds that provide much better hearing protection than earplugs. They're also offering custom molds for ipod earbuds. They stay in your ears better and block out surrounding noise so the volume doesn't need to be so high, thereby helping to protect hearing. At $40 for the custom earplugs and $50 for the custom earbuds, in a variety of colors, it's a fraction of the usual cost.
"The members of the club are very nice,” Holcomb said. “They spend a lot of time trying to put together fund raisers - they've done different types of fund raisers and it takes a lot of time and effort, and when you're a graduate student you don't have much, so we're working really hard to do what we can to help the community here."
The money is used for hearing aids for children in need.
"There's a child that hasn't heard anything in a while - we've had some we fit their first actual pair of hearing aids and just seeing that look of, they can hear, so it's nice to see not only the child's response but the mom's response or the dad's response to it," Holcomb said.
The audiology students hope to raise enough money to provide hearing aids for at least one child per semester. Truly great examples of great neighbors in our community.
The Student Academy of Audiology will be offering to do those custom earplugs and earbuds through March 29th at their ISU location. Just call 208-282-3495 and ask for Jessica to set up an appointment.