KEX Kids Fund receiving award from Dr. Eric Jones
Thank you Global Giving donors for your generous support in December! Your donations in December 2015 represent the largest monthly donations from Global Giving supporters since your support began in Summer, 2011. Thank you, too, for helping us make this another successful year for the KEX Kids Fund and continuing our goal of providing hearing care for all eligible children requesting our help!! As we mentioned in our last report, in addition to meeting our goal the KEX Kids Fund has been selected to receive a National Outstanding Service Award from the NAB Education Foundation for Service to Children presented in Washington DC on June 16, 2015!! In addition to this National Award, the KEX Kids Fund received local recognition by the Oregon Lions Sight and Hearing Foundation as their Partner of the Year at their Gala Award Dinner on October 3, 2015. The award was presented by Dr. Eric Jones, Legacy Health Systems. Thank you again for your help to make this recognition possible!
Your support helped us raise $121,314 to provide both hearing and vision care for needy children in Oregon and SW Washington for our 2015 program. Most of our operating expenses for 2015 are pledged and collected during our annual Thanksgiving Fundraiser. In November 2014, we have received $95,315 to be used for our $140,000 budget for 2015. We are pleased to report another successful November 2015 fundraiser. To date we have received $112,060 for our 2016 budgets. We are very pleased with this support as the radio time for the fundraiser included only the four morning broadcasts and not the two afternoon commuting time broadcasts which have historically brought in $15,000 to $20,000 in pledges. Our funds are kept in one account and are used for both of our Hearing and Vision Care programs.
Hearing Care Program Services expenses for 2015 were $24,850. The KEX Kids Fund provided care for 41 children during 2015. These children received hearing care services valued at nearly $100,000. As reported previously, our Hearing Care Program has experienced changes and challenges in the recent years. In 2011, Oregon legislation impacted our hearing program in two ways. First the requirement that insurance companies to cover costs of hearing aids for children under 18 reduced our hearing program expenses. Second, cuts in education funding resulted in a reduction in staff at several of our ESD hearing care locations. In some cases, audiologists are able to continue to provide hearing exams but are no longer able to fit or dispense hearing aids. In our October 2011 board meeting, we approved reimbursement for private providers for the fitting and dispensing fees for children in this area. Private audiology providers are also offering services to our children. In 2013, the Oregon Department of Education policy reduced or eliminated support of audiology services at ESD resulting in further impacts on our hearing program. Some ESD districts have agreed to use local district resources for evaluation and dispensing hearing aids for children in their district while others are limiting services to evaluation and/or serving children 0 to 5 years of age. Our board member, Sherry Brown, is keeping the KEX Board updated on these developments and suggesting ways that the KEX Kids Fund can continue to serve children in need of hearing care services. Sherry encouraged another ESD audiologist from the Salem area, Glenda Smith-Fowler to join our board and they have recruited additional audiology providers to provide services to our children to bridge some of the gaps from Oregon ESD funding cuts. Sherry and Glenda are helping us consider options for providing hearing care to needy children outside our current 16 county service area. We currently have 15 audiologists supporting our hearing program.
Throughout the year we receive thank you notes and photos from our hearing care children. We are attaching copies of these items and photos from the October OLSHF Gala Event to this report. Thank you again for helping us to bring sound to needy children in Oregon and SW Washington.
Letter from Oregon Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici
Idrissa's & her teacher's notes about her earmolds