In 1993 Dr. Frank Butts; Dr. Larrie Dean, and a group of volunteer members of the Richmond James River Lions Club in Virginia created the Central Virginia Lions Hearing Aid Bank. The mission was to help people in the area with hearing problems find solutions to their handicap. A cost effective method was sought to the problem of hearing loss. The directors of the group asked the Lions Clubs in the area to collect used hearing aids and it was determined that some behind the ear, or BTE instruments could be refurbished to like new condition and with the use of a custom earmold could be fit to a new person.
The program started with applications coming from people in the Richmond – Petersburg area and grew to the point that CVLHAB filed for and received the IRS 501(c) (3) tax exemption in 1997. With a grant from the Lions of Virginia Foundation the program continued to grow each year until 2012. In the spring of 2012 an audit of the program showed that hearing aids had been provided to people living in 18 of the 23 counties in South-Central Virginia that are served by Lions Clubs. On the basis of that data the District Governor and Council were asked to designate the Hearing Aid Bank as a District Service Unit. On January first, 2013 CVLHAB began doing business in 23 Counties and 7 cities supporting 48 Lions Clubs with hearing aid assistance. We are proud to carry on the mission started 20 years ago by a group of dedicated Lion volunteers.