Veteran needed to sell hearing aids for help

A happy end to a sad story of a veteran who felt compelled to sell his hearing aids can’t mask an important truth: people can be jerks.

Gilbert Hoppe, 75 of North Mankato, Minn., posted a photo of his hearing aids on the Mankato Area For Sale Facebook page because he wanted to raise money to buy a vehicle that could help him get to his VA appointments.

Sure, hearing aids are worthless to anyone else because they’re molded to someone’s ear. But come on, people; a veteran needing to sell his hearing aids? That’s a call to action for decent folk.

“The worst was probably the one that called him an idiot and said he couldn’t sell those hearing aids. Obviously that person didn’t put himself in Gilbert’s shoes,” Kristi Bighley, who did, tells KARE 11 about the Facebook comments.

“It was pretty rude, the way some of them were talking,” Hoppe tells the Star Tribune.

Count Bighley among the decent folk. She, Jena Faue and Chris Wright, who didn’t know him, reached out to him, found out he has cancer and cares for his wife Linda, who needs oxygen and struggles with COPD.

They put together a GoFundMe page and also a fundraiser in Eagle Lake on Sunday, KARE says.

As of this morning, the better angels had raised almost $10,000.

  • >>The worst was probably the one that called him an idiot and said he couldn’t sell those hearing aids.<<

    To be fair, people on the "inetrnets" aren't always the most friendly.

    • KariBemidji

      I’ve found the local community groups on Facebook can bring out the absolute worst in our communities. I hope people looking to relocate to Bemidji never look up our Facebook groups.

  • MrE85

    Thanks. I’ll see what we can do to help his wife.

  • Jeff

    Kinda wondering why do we need to have a fund raiser so a veteran can get to his medical appointments? Shouldn’t this be provided?

    • Jack Ungerleider

      You would think so. But there is one political faction in the U.S.A. that sees the government as a waste and taxation as theft. If we viewed government as the embodiment of society’s commitment to the totality of its citizens and taxation as the “contribution” we all make to ensure that society lives up to those commitments maybe we wouldn’t need things like GoFundMe. But until then we will have to rely on voluntary self-organizing ways of providing for those members of our society that need our assistance.

  • Brian Simon

    It’s great that people help by creating go fund me sites, and the like. But it’s incredibly frustrating that we don’t take care of people in the first place.

    • KariBemidji

      gofundme is the band aid on some of the societal ills of America – “I’m helping out! I gave $50!” This story is the center of the venn diagram of what is wrong in America (health care, school shootings and $$) –