Charles McMillan is a congenial guy with a ready smile. You’d never know he struggles with severe hearing loss, but it has been an exceptional burden for him and his wife.

Over a year ago, his single hearing aid was damaged and the McMillans could not afford to repair or replace the device.

That’s when Eric Hanse stepped in. A hearing care practitioner at the Beltone Hearing Center in Aberdeen, he applied to the Beltone Hearing Care Foundation on behalf of McMillan for a donation of hearing aids. It took less than two weeks for the foundation to approve the request.

Last week McMillian’s smile faded when his new dual hearing aids were turned on for the first time. He tried to remain stoic, ultimately giving in to grateful tears.

“I want you to know I really appreciate what you’ve done for me,” McMillan told Hanse. “It is like a miracle to me. It’s almost like a dream.”

Previously he said he could hear people talking, but could not make out the words. Background noise was particularly problematic for McMillan.

Hanse said he was pleased to be able to assist him and his family. In the application to the Beltone Foundation, he’d noted that McMillan was a social person and that being able to communicate, especially with loved ones, is important.

”This is the only Christmas gift I could think to give you,” Hanse told him. “You are so deserving of this gift.”

The behind-the-ear design of the dual hearing aids were matched to McMillan’s skin tone, rendering them essentially invisible to the eye. They were valued at approximately $6,000.

Beltone patient care coordinator Crystal Davis, said they offer a variety of device styles and price options. Beltone also provides financing services and leasing options, and will work with patient’s healthcare coverage as appropriate.

“We do everything we can to help our patients,” she said.

Hanse said he typically will submit a donation request on behalf of a patient once a quarter to the Beltone Hearing Care Foundation. The charitable nonprofit donates hearing instruments to those in need of hearing help who may otherwise be unable to access it. Both individuals and organizations are eligible to receive assistance from the Foundation through direct nominations by Beltone staff or network members.

“We are thrilled to be able to help Charles McMillan, obviously a person who is truly deserving and who needed our assistance in a huge way,” said Michael Andreozzi, CEO of Beltone Carolina/Virginia. “We are also happy to have played an important role in changing his life for the better. That’s what Beltone is all about.”

(1) comment

Flossie Parks

What a beautiful story and one that touches on being kind and giving. I am so happy for Mr. McMillian. I having hearing aids myself and I would be lost without mine. No one really knows what it is like to not hear and understand words and sentences unless you have hearing issues. HUGE Kudos to Eric Hanse for allowing his heart and Beltone help this sweet man. Great story of giving to start the New Year!

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Comments that violate any of the rules above are subject to removal by staff.

Thank you for reading!

Please purchase a subscription to continue reading. Subscribe today and support local community journalism.

Digital Only Subscriptions

Get 24-7 digital-only access and support award-winning community journalism. This gives you access to and its electronic replica edition.

Starting at
$5.35 for 30 days

Already a Print Subscriber? Get Digital Access Free.

As a print subscriber , you also receive unlimited digital access. You can do that here. For any problems, call our customer service number at 910-693-2487 or 693-2488.

Free access for current print subscribers

Home Delivery

Get all the news of Moore County delivered to your home each Wednesday and Sunday with home delivery. Your home delivery subscription also includes unlimited digital access to

Starting at
$27.82 for 90 days