For the second time in fewer than five months, independent hearing care providers from across the country joined the Starkey Hearing Foundation to bring better hearing to men, women, and children in need. Sunni McBride of Mission Audiology, a local community hearing care practice, joined in on the mission to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, which took place January 18 to 22 and was lauded by all contributors as a success.

“We helped change lives,” says Sunni. “We brought families closer together. We helped marriages. We helped young children with their ability to speak. We wanted to give everyone we saw an opportunity for a better life, and we feel like we achieved these goals. We made our own lives better and more rich because of these contributions, and that makes for a rewarding experience.”

When all was said and done, Sunni, along with Starkey employees and other volunteers, was able to help fit approximately 800 individuals in need with hearing aids that give them the opportunity to hear better than they have in years. Actor Kate Hudson and musician Sammy Hagar joined Starkey representatives and volunteers in fitting locals with hearing aids.

“I feel like I got back twice as much as I gave,” says Sunni. “It’s not just about giving the gift of hearing. It’s about giving those folks their freedom back — freedom to have a relationship with those around them, to listen to music, to be more aware of their surroundings, or to simply follow a conversation. The ability to hear more clearly is just a vessel for what makes them truly happy: more deeply connecting with their friends and loved ones.”

Starkey’s “So the World May Hear” missions are featured on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Network as part of their “Operation Change” reality series. The series follows Bill and Tani Austin from the Starkey Hearing Foundation, a nonprofit organization that gives free hearing aids to those in need.