Sharing From Our Abundance

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO December 01, 2015

The holiday season is my favorite time of the year. It's that special opportunity for us to count our many blessings, to give thanks for our families, for our homes, and for the many opportunities we enjoy. It is also a particularly meaningful time for us to share our abundance with those in need.

Our practice has participated in many charitable holiday endeavors over the years. Each of them has been uniquely rewarding and left us wishing that we could have done more. We have volunteered our services to clergy, to visiting missionaries, and to many others in need. The gift of vision care is highly valued and can be a difference maker. After all, vision is our primary sense, and an efficient visual system is a key for reaching one's potential.

Surely, our practice is not unique in its charitable outreach. In fact, optometry stands tall in the charitable arena. Many doctors share their time, resources, and services in their communities.

I recently became aware of a very cool charitable idea which would allow patients to share in the spirit of giving. I am not sure who to credit with the idea, but I am sure the author would be happy for me to share it here. It basically works like this: Following any new dispensing during the holiday season, patients are asked to draw a coupon out of a jar. The jar is filled with coupons of different values and a donation is made to the local food bank for the amount drawn. In this fun and rewarding way, patients are included in the charitable effort.

Everyone benefits from such a program: Doctors are able to share and patients feel the connection between the practice and the community. As we all know, a charitable spirit is both rewarding and contagious. I am certain that patients will welcome the opportunity to feel a part of such an effort, and perhaps, be inspired to do even more.

As I see it, the holidays give us the perfect opportunity to share from our abundance. Whether we share our services directly or share in concert with our patients, there is no higher calling. We have the opportunity to improve both visual welfare and quality of life. Let's challenge ourselves to think of new and innovative ways to impact the communities in which we serve.

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