POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Helping the world hear.
That's the mission of an Idaho State University student. Fernando Espinoza has started a fundraiser to earn money to buy hearing aids for those in need.
He said he grew up lacking some of the privileges that others had, so he has a sense of understanding for those in need. He said the idea for the fundraiser just kind of came to him.
"It kind of started strangely," Espionza described. "One day I woke up and it just kind of hit me and I told my best friend about it and she thought it was a good idea and two days later, I saw this video of this ten-year-old boy on Ellen DeGeneres kind of doing a similar thing and I took that as a sign."
Espinoza, who had been facing some personal trials of his own, decided to turn those trials into a positive situation. He decided to pick himself back up by helping others. So he started researching where the biggest need was and where he could help make a difference.
"There's 360 million people in the world who suffer from hearing loss and 32 million of those are kids," Espinoza said. "And most insurances don't cover hearing aids and from talking to audiologists, they told me that hearing aids can vary from $500 to $6000 so that's a lot of money to cover."
He decided to partner with the Starkey Hearing Foundation, who reaches worldwide and helps in countries like Guatemala, Africa, and so many others. The foundation has its own goal to donate at least 100,000 hearing aids to those in need each year.
Espinoza hopes to raise at least $2,000 to help buy some of those needed hearing aids.
"Everybody can help it just takes some effort and willingness to do so," he said.
For those who want to help, you can either donate money, or donate hearing aids if you have any that aren't being used. Espinoza said he will gladly pick them up. So far, Espinoza has raised about $220 and has had one hearing aid set donated.
If you would like to donate, you can contact Fernando at (208) 230-3719 or via email at Espiluis@isu.edu.
You can donate online here at the Starkey Hearing Foundation.