Santonio Holmes Doing Charity Work in Africa

PITTSBURGH PA - JANUARY 23: Santonio Holmes #10 of the New York Jets scores a third quarter touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the 2011 AFC Championship game at Heinz Field on January 23 2011 in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

As always, we like to draw attention when members of Gang Green are helping the needy. New York Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes is part of a charity trip to Africa on behalf of the Starkey Hearing Foundation, a group that provides hearing aids to those with low incomes. A full outline is after the jump.

Throughout the month of March, the Starkey Hearing Foundation, dedicated to building better lives for the hearing impaired by providing hearing instruments to those in need, will embark on a 24-day mission to Africa to deliver more than 22,000 state-of-art hearing devices to children and adults across the continent. 

Led by Bill Austin, Chief Executive Officer, Starkey Hearing Laboratories, and Founder, Starkey Hearing Foundation, a team of audiologists, hearing professionals and staff will visit schools for the deaf, hospitals and communities in Mombasa, Kisumu, and Nairobi (Kenya); Kampala and Gulu (Uganda); Ruhengeri and Kigali (Rwanda); Bujumbura (Burundi); Pemba Island; and Zanzibar (Tanzania).  Joining them throughout the journey, will be Marlee Matlin, a long-time Starkey Hearing Foundation supporter and featured cast member of this season’s The Celebrity Apprentice (NBC); and a team of professional football players with PROS FOR AFRICA, a non-profit relief organization providing basic needs to the children of Africa.

PROS FOR AFRICA football stars participating in the hearing mission to Africa include Larry Fitzgerald Jr. (Arizona Cardinals), Adrian Peterson (Minnesota Vikings), brothers Vernon Davis (San Francisco 49ers) and Vontae Davis (Miami Dolphins), Roy Williams (Cincinnati Bengals), Bryant McKinnie (Minnesota Vikings), Tommie Harris (former Chicago Bears), Gerald McCoy (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Derrick Morgan (Tennessee Titans), and Santonio Holmes (New York Jets). 

"The Starkey Hearing Foundation’s mission is to bring the gift of hearing to those in need that they may be able to realize their full potential," said Bill Austin, Starkey Hearing Foundation.  "We thank PROS FOR AFRICA, Marlee Matlin, and our sponsors and partners in helping to realize this year’s mission to Africa where we can make a tremendous difference in a child’s quality of life and future just by opening them up to a new world of sound."

"I have been a friend and supporter of the Starkey Hearing Foundation for about eight years now and believe whole-heartedly in their work to bring the gift of hearing to those who would normally not have access to this level of hearing care, which is essential for one to realize their true and full potential," said Marlee Matlin.  "I have participated in previous hearing missions, and look forward to joining them on this second trip to Africa where there is such a great need for what Starkey is doing."

"The Starkey Hearing Foundation has been an ideal partner for PROS FOR AFRICA," said Adrian Peterson, who attended Starkey’s Super Bowl Mission in Dallas and the Raise Your Hand for Africa Poker Tournament in Las Vegas, both held last month. "Together we are helping one another realize both of our missions by making a meaningful impact in the lives of African families and children."

The Starkey Hearing Foundation Africa Mission is made possible with the help of sponsors Starkey Canada, Sandi Young, The Richard Schulze Family Foundation, Best Buy, Hope Medical Clinics, and Hope for the City, along with volunteer partners the University of Nairobi, Operation Ear Drop, Bridge2Rwanda, Rwanda Secretary of Education, and Hope International. The Starkey Hearing Foundation team is making nine stops during the trek with fittings scheduled at schools, hospitals and churches as follows:

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      March 5-6       Sheikh Alfarsy School, Mombasa

      March 8-10      Lions High School, Kisumu

      March 11        University of Nairobi, Nairobi (with Marlee Matlin)

      March 13-16     Uganda Revenue Authority, Kampala (with Marlee Matlin, Uganda First Lady Mrs. Janet Kataha Museveni, and PROS FOR AFRICA)

      March 17-19     St. Monica’s School, Gulu, (with PROS FOR AFRICA)

      March 21-22     Ruhengeri Hospital, Ruhengeri (with PROS FOR AFRICA)

      March 23-24     Kigali Fittings

      March 26-28     Church of Light & Johnson Deaf School, Bujumbura

      March 29        Pemba Island Fittings

      March 30        Zanzibar Fittings

    The Starkey Hearing Foundation’s Africa Hearing Mission is one of dozens of missions conducted each year both domestically and internationally.  All missions include the distribution of hearing aids and batteries, custom fittings, audio testing, and counseling on how to care for the devices. This is the Foundation’s second mission to Africa in two years.  In 2010, the Starkey Hearing Foundation Africa Mission spanned 30 days and covered 14 cities across five countries including Kenya, South Africa, Botswana, Tanzania, and Mozambique. 

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