In the first part of this series I discussed some of the volunteer service clubs that are available in your community and how your participation would indirectly affect your practice. What if you don´t want to be a member of a club but would like to volunteer your help as your schedule permits? The next couple of MBA newsletters will help stimulate your creative thinking as to the different volunteer opportunities available within your community that do not require club membership. Remember, as a club member or not, your volunteer work will help you develop valuable practice building relationships, and provide you with image boosting public relations exposure. Let´s list some simple categories and then come up with ideas to make them work.
Grade school activity
High School activity
Third world activity
I wrote down the above activities as they popped into my head. Let your creativity flow - sit back and think or ponder what you can do and jot it down. To show you how easy it is to come up with ideas that will make a community volunteer activity work, I´ve picked one from my list and expounded on it as follows:
GRADE SCHOOL ACTIVITY
One volunteer activity that I chose to do in my community was teaching spinal care classes in the local grade schools. The teachers who taught nutrition, health, biology and other related subjects were very appreciative to have a health care professional come in and teach a class to their students. If this is something you would like to do, follow these steps:
Contact the local school principals and let them know you would like to volunteer time to teach a health care class. Explain that you will not be handing out office brochures, business cards or be doing spinal screenings. Ask the principals if you could leave a note in the mailboxes of those teachers who teach classes relative to the spinal care class you would like to teach. (Every school and grade level will have at least one health related class.)
Your note to the teacher should be simple, i.e.:
Dear Mrs. Jones:
I dedicate myself to being involved in community service in as many ways as possible. One of the things that I would like to do for your school, is to offer my time to come into your classes that you deem appropriate, and teach a spinal health care class.
I recognize that these are young students but I have a unique gift of being able to speak about complicated things on their level of understanding. The following are the types of things I would speak about.
Good health by eating, exercising and thinking right.
The importance the spine plays in our lives. At this point I show them a model of a plastic spine and discuss the brain, spinal cord and nerves. Then I explain how the nerves go to the organs and other parts of the body.
I show them all the bad habits we have that can hurt our spines and what we need to do right to keep our spines healthy.
My talks are sprinkled with appropriate humor, which adds some fun to this learning experience.
At the end of my class, I give students time to ask questions.
I pass out a special certificate of graduation for attending Dr. Cavanaugh´s spinal care class.
I have attached some referral letters from other teachers who have enjoyed having me in their class. Please contact me at my office by calling 555-0000, and be sure to tell my staff who you are so that I may speak directly with you. I will tell them to expect a call.
Thomas Cavanaugh, D.C., M.B.A.
You may also invite the teacher over to your office for a sandwich lunch and a brief tour of your facility. A simple sit down meeting will help the teacher better understand and appreciate what it is you will be doing in his or her class. Have a brief outline of your subjects (no longer than one page) ready to give the teacher. Who knows, this informal lunch could lead to other practice building opportunities, i.e., becoming the doctor for the teacher´s union in your area.
I was always fired up to teach these classes. The kids loved them and enjoyed bringing their certificate home to show their parents. Of course when mom and dad read the certificate they learned who the doctor was that took the time to teach their child how to have a healthy spine. Who knows, maybe some day dad will be slumping in the chair watching TV and his eight year old child will yell out, Hey dad, Dr. Cavanaugh said if you sit like that you are going to grow old like that. You´re supposed to sit up and keep an arch in your low back.’ Yes, even children can help boost chiropractic awareness within your community.