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  • September 14, 2016

Make charitable giving a dental team activity this holiday season


Does your office have a tradition of “giving back” during the holiday season?

The start of December launches us into a hectic cycle of shopping, office parties, eating and decorating, but Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa also usher in a time rich with meaning and contemplation. All we need to do is hear the Salvation Army bell ringers to remind us that the season to reach out to help those in need is upon us.

Your dental office can harness that charitable frame of mind by helping the organizations that help others. The benefits are worth the small investment of time to get your project up and running. Modest or large, an office charitable project draws on the good will of your staff and patients to contribute to something bigger than themselves during the holidays. And you can show your patients that not only can you do right by their oral health, you can do right by your community too.

With your guidance and enthusiasm, an office meeting with your dental team can identify and choose organizations with whom to partner. The possibilities are endless: for local organizations like a Kiwanis Club, the library, a Boy or Girl Scout troop, a church food pantry or domestic violence shelter, the need is great in December. State or national organizations – think Salvation Army clothing drives or USO book drives for overseas soldiers – also are thankful for partners this time of year. A North Carolina dental office even donates dental supplies to local church organizations that add them to Christmas stockings (Easter baskets too) for needy children.

After identifying an organization to support, think through the plan: would space be needed for a canned food drive, for example? Would a group pick up donations or would goods have to be dropped off by a staff member? A few phone calls can iron out details and ensure the project comes off smoothly.

Enlist your patients in your cause by promoting the project on your website or Facebook page, even mentioning the project in appointment reminder calls or texts. Many times, patients are looking for avenues to donate goods and simply knowing the office is accepting canned goods, donated mittens or old eyeglasses gives them an outlet. The added benefit is they can see how their contribution, added to those of others, grows to help those in need.

All it takes is a little organization for your office to play a meaningful role and help groups do their important work this holiday season. However, the needs don’t go away come January. Consider a New Year’s resolution to partner with organizations year-round. It could be your office’s greatest gift.

Editor’s note: Avoid getting scammed by fake charities. Learn more at http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0074-giving-charity.

The views expressed in this column are those of the writer and not necessarily the opinions of the Chicago Dental Society. CDS presents Front Desk, a column addressing problems dentists and staff members experience in the office. Front Desk is prepared by Stephanie Sisk, a freelance journalist. Suggestions? Email suggestions for topics to be covered to the Chicago Dental Society.
© 2015, Chicago Dental Society

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