St. Johns County program helps people hear again

A St. Johns County program is giving the gift of hearing to hundreds of people.

Ponte Vedra Beach-based Lend An Ear Outreach provides hearing aids to people of all ages who cannot afford them.

Ruth Vice said three weeks ago, just trying to hear people talking was a struggle for her.

“'What' and 'huh' have been the most-used words in my vocabulary,” Vice said.

Now Vice is part of Lend an Ear Outreach, a local program providing inexpensive hearing aids to people of all ages.

“There’s not a word to describe it. It’s something you feel in here,” Vice said pointing to her heart.

Dr. Jane Burns, an audiologist, says Lend an Ear has helped around 200 families so far.

Qualified patients must make less than $38,000 a year.

At the high end, people pay around $225 total for their new hearing aid instead of thousands of dollars.

“A lot of time the patients, and I, end up with tears in their eyes,” Burns said.

For more information on Lend and Ear Outreach, visit their webpage.