Delta Zeta puts up hoops to benefit hearing

Steven Barnum , News editor

Students at Western Illinois University competed in a basketball tournament to support the Starkey Hearing Foundation.

William F. Austin founded the non-profit organization in 1984 in order to provide easier access to hearing aids and healthcare services to those in need. According to the Starkey Hearing Foundation, more than 400 million worldwide have experienced a loss of hearing and less than three percent of them are able to get the care that they require.

The foundation now offers help to the hearing-impaired in more than 100 different countries thanks to initiatives like “Hoops for Hearing,” a philanthropy event organized by the Delta Zeta sorority. Members of sororities and fraternities throughout the Western community played in the threeon-three charity event in the Student Recreation Center Tuesday evening, including Jordan Lloyd.

“We like to bring together the different Greek organizations in order to help raise as much money as we can,” Lloyd said. “We pride ourselves on being very caring and very involved with our philanthropies.”

Hoops for Hearing has now been an annual event on Western’s campus for the last three years. Lloyd may be a super fan of John Stamos, but she is most passionate about helping those who are less fortunate.

“We try to have 100 percent attendance to our philanthropies and encourage all other organizations and people from the community to also help and be involved,” Lloyd said.

Melissa Hanson was also involved and she shared why the event is important.

“This is a great opportunity to give back to people in need,” Hanson said, “and it also provides different opportunities for my sorority to go and experience hands-on giving these hearing aids to other people.”

With the foundation’s mission to help as many people as possible, participation in events like Hoops for Hearing is critical. Hanson talked about how the main objective is to provide more than 1 million hearing aids every year. She was very pleased with the event’s participation and attendance.

“Seeing everyone come out to this event is really inspiring because they all believe in the same goal that we have,” Hanson said.

Madison Munoz agreed that the event’s participation will go a long way when it comes to support. “Everyone came out and supported. I wasn’t expecting that many people so I was very pleased,” Munoz said.

Like Lloyd and Hanson, Munoz recognizes the value in helping those in need whenever they are in a position to do so.

“It is very important to give back to those in need,” Munoz said. “It helps people who can’t hear and may not be able to afford hearing aids. It’s important for us to be able to support them and give them the help they need.”

Students or members of the Macomb community who do not currently belong to a Greek organization can contribute to the cause by donating to the cause.