AG Bell Supporters Help Children Accomplish Their Dreams

 Speaking from the Volta Bureau Autumn banner

Emilio Alonso-Mendoza summerDear Alexander Graham Bell Community,

I'm always impressed by the kindness of people who generously donate to AG Bell especially during the Annual Appeal. The appeal is still active, and you have probably received reminders from us. What I hope these reminders bring home to you is the powerful impact of philanthropy. One of the ways that philanthropy impacts the lives of children with hearing loss is through the financial aid awards that AG Bell gives to families.

Raising a child who is deaf or hard of hearing can put a financial strain on a family - particularly in the early years. Insurance plans do not always cover the costs of hearing technology and support services, and costs can add up. AG Bell financial aid programs are available for families and help with a wide range of expenses. When parents submit an application, they are seeking support of their child's hearing technology or to pay for part of their child's education.

The first financial aid program to open in 2016 will be the Arts & Sciences Financial Aid Program in March. Look for upcoming announcements in the Thursday editions of AG Bell eNEWS, in AG Bell social media and on We encourage families who are interested in financial aid programs to sign up for our weekly e-blasts and consider applying for these awards. It's not complicated; we ask for letters of support, a recent audiogram and a compelling story about your child and your family's needs.

It gives us at AG Bell great joy to read the thank-you letters from parents who received financial aid awards. It is this type of feedback that lets us know that the gifts from AG Bell donors are making a real difference in the lives of children with hearing loss. The mother of Elaina, age 3, wrote, "We are so appreciative and grateful for AG Bell's consideration. Elaina has started saying 'I love you'. Best gift ever. All the hard work has been paying off." 

teacher with microphoneWhen parents choose the listening and spoken language option, the entire family plays a critical role in the success of language development for their child with hearing loss. As one mother wrote about her 5-year-old son, Alex, "We now know that even though there are valleys, and bumps along the way, our hard work will triumph on the mountain in the near future for Alex. He is such a talkative little joy."

I would like to highlight a wonderful letter from Zevi and Fraida Portnoy about their daughter, Russi, who received a 2015 Preschool-Age Financial Aid Program award. AG Bell was able to offer assistance to the Portnoys by giving them support for hearing technology. And, we want to thank AG Bell donors for making this possible.

Russi Portnoy
Russi Portnoy

The Portnoys used their financial aid award to purchase a new FM receiver for their daughter's cochlear implant. Not only does Russi use the FM system at preschool, but also at ballet and gymnastics classes. Russi is progressing well in her mainstream private school and is one of the top students in her class. Her listening and spoken language impresses her teachers - Russi is no different than her peers in terms of language development. As Zevi and Fraida wrote, "As she reaches milestone after milestone, we thank you again for helping us give that support to assist her in her development."

AG Bell is able to provide these resources to families because of the generosity of people like you. It may take a village to raise a child, but it takes a community to help a child thrive. As part of the AG Bell community, I ask that you support AG Bell to give children the opportunities to accomplish their dreams.

Until next week,


Emilio Alonso-Mendoza
[email protected]


Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others.
- Booker T. Washington