Dear Alexander Graham Bell Community,   
I really enjoy this time of year. It's not just all the fun and excitement of sharing the holidays with family and friends. As we come to the end of another year, we have time to think about what we've accomplished. What have we done, not just for ourselves, but for others?

One of the joys of working for AG Bell is that I get to see how you change the lives of so many people.

Each year, AG Bell shares over half a million dollars with families in need of financial aid and college scholarships. These funds go a long way to support children and adults with hearing loss from infancy all the way through young adulthood and into higher education. One father told us:

We are truly grateful for your ongoing assistance and support of Connor's hearing needs.  I can honestly say Connor would not be where he's at today without your assistance and the kind assistance of others.  His success in school has been true team work.

Because of the kindness of people like you, young parents who have just received the diagnosis of hearing loss receive resources and information to help them make the best choice for their child. Professionals receive the training they need to help each child with hearing loss learn to listen and speak. You improve a child's ability to learn and excel through financial aid by supporting a science summer camp, an after-school academic program, music lessons or training in the arts. As a financial aid recipient, Elena LaQuatra used her gift to further her training in theater arts and broadcasting, fueling her dream of becoming Miss USA. Nick Stone used his scholarship to seek a law degree so he could prepare to help others in fighting for better access in mainstream society.

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You support education that enables children with hearing loss to choose to follow any path they desire and succeed in the world as leaders. Your support of the Leadership Opportunities For Teens program empowers them to take the next step in their lives as they embark upon their adult lives and face the ever-present challenge of self-advocacy in new ways.

AG Bell places an emphasis on annual giving each year to help cover our operational costs as well as raise awareness about the importance of our mission, the programs that we run and support, and all that we give to our community.

One of the best ways to support these programs and increase your giving is to give on a recurring basis. A gift of $100 a month can provide a hearing aid. A gift of $75 a month can send a teen to LOFT. And $25 a month can make a difference to a mother who spends $2,000 a year to drive her child 100 miles to the nearest Listening and Spoken Language Specialist. The choice to hear matters, and for some, that choice is so much easier when they have the support they need to make it possible.

Don't just give for now, make it a habit. The choice to hear matters because you make it possible.

This time next year, we'll reflect together on how you changed the life of a child whose family chose listening and spoken language. Your choice to give matters and makes it possible for a child to achieve his dreams.

Until next week,

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Emilio Alonso-Mendoza

P.S. You can make a pledge now and begin making monthly payments in January. Your gifts in 2017 will be matched 100% by a long-term AG Bell supporter - that means your gift is doubled and can help twice as many people!

The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away .

Pablo Picasso