An Exemplary Foundation

Posted on Saturday, August 4, 2012

William Carls, a German immigrant who made his fortune in the booming Detroit industrial scene of the early 20th century, spent a lifetime giving back to the charitable organizations he loved. More than a decade following his passing, he continues to have an impact through The Carls Foundation, located in downtown Detroit.

That impact reaches WMU's College of Health and Human Services. Several years ago, The Carls Foundation made a significant investment that allowed the college to purchase equipment for audiology graduate students to diagnose hearing loss in infants and young children born in Kalamazoo. This is done at The Charles Van Riper Language, Speech, and Hearing Clinic—babies and young children are able to receive hearing treatment regardless of their families' ability to pay.

More Recently, the foundation made investments in the college that have allowed a cochlear implant program to be established along with aural rehabilitation services. This includes a summer program for hearing impaired children. A clinical and academic track was established concurrently, to improve pre-professional preparation for students interested in serving young-hearing impaired children.

Their support was further extended to allow WMU to expand outreach and services to older adolescents who sometimes abandon the technology due to peer pressure.

In sum, the foundation has committed more than $600,000 to the Cochlear Implant Clinic at WMU in the last two years. As a result, WMU nominated The Carls Foundation for the Exemplary Foundation Award and they will be honored with that award by the Association of Fundraising Professionals-West Michigan in mid-November.

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