MIDLAND-ODESSA, TX (KWES) - A West Texas man is able to hear clearly for the first time in years. It all happened Wednesday afternoon after a new partnership was announced between Beltone and The United Way.
Steve Parker was the first recipient of a hearing aid through the partnership.
"I can't really put words to it. I think it's the greatest thing that has happened, I know it is for me," said Parker after putting the hearing aid on.
Beltone has been in the Permian Basin for 75 years and The United Way for 65. Both organizations focus on helping people, it was Beltone's idea to come together and help even more.
"Since then we've had a couple of meetings, we've gotten together, we've formed this partnership and we'll help as many people as we can," said Tom Pursel, the Executive Director of United Way in Odessa.
The Gift of Hearing Foundation will allow The United Way to refer anyone, from children to elderly who need hearing assistance to Beltone.
Beltone will provide a hearing evaluation for free and for those who qualify they may also get a hearing aid at no cost.
"We get recommendations from all different types of sources. Whether it be Meals on Wheels, Christmas in Action, all the way to elementary school programs Boys and Girls Club," said Garrett Morgan, Owner of Beltone Hearing Centers in the Permian Basin.
"I've already been referred two names of children that have learning deficiencies because they're unable to hear," said Pursel.
As for Mr. Parker, he's living a whole different life.
"They're offering people an opportunity that nobody knew was out there until now and I hope they take advantage of it because it changes everything," said Parker.
"He'll be walking and just stop, listen and start crying because he now is connected with the world," said Pursel about Parker.
If you or anyone you know need hearing assistance, you may qualify for The Gift of Hearing Foundation, all you have to do is contact The United Way.