JOHNSTOWN, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Mary and Rick Frasier know very well how hearing and hearing loss, can impact people from all walks of life, and how it can impact those who cannot afford help.

That is why the owners of Johnstown-based Frasier Enterprise, Inc.—the largest franchise owners within the Miracle-Ear Corporation—say they are committed to the Miracle-Ear Foundation. The foundation has donated more than 34,000 hearing aids to more than 18,000 children and adults nationwide, who could not otherwise afford them.

The Frasiers—along with franchise owner Carl Case—are now expanding these efforts to the people of Puerto Rico. On November 28, they will participate in the Miracle-Ear Foundation’s first international mission, donating 350 hearing aids and a lifetime of follow-up care to over 175 Puerto Ricans in need. They say that they will work directly with patients to fit them with a life-changing set of hearing aids.

For these Capital Region business owners, the trip is both an investment of time and more than a $10,000 donation to bring the “gift of sound” to those who would typically be unable to pay for it. They said that this first international trip lets them take their mission beyond the store walls into a country in crisis since 2017, when Hurricane Maria struck.

“The feeling you get when you see the smile on their faces the first time they are able to hear is indescribable,” said Rick Frasier, whose employees already help qualified patients through the Miracle-Ear Foundation.

The Frasiers said that the most recent data shows that over 150,000 Puerto Ricans are deaf or struggle with hearing loss, which can seriously damage their quality of life. Many Puerto Ricans cannot afford the hearing help they need. To help subsidize the cost of the trip for franchisees, the Miracle-Ear Foundation and Miracle-Ear are investing over $1 million in hearing aid technology, time, and resources.

For more information about the Miracle-Ear Foundation, go online or visit a local Miracle-Ear store. Community members who would like to support the Miracle-Ear Foundation’s ongoing work to bring the Gift of Sound to those in need locally can also make a donation at the Johnstown Miracle-Ear store or online.