Holiday Children's Angel: A Chiropractic Fundraiser
By Claudia Anrig, DCLast year, with the assistance of Dynamic Chiropractic, the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) raised $10,000 for the Oklahaven and Kentuckiana children centers. The purpose of this first annual event was to raise the funds necessary to operate both nonprofit centers.
We are all bombarded with numerous fundraising causes, usually related to some "disease." Although I believe I am a giving individual, I have difficulty supporting the allopathic system. On the other hand, our profession has rarely held a chiropractic fundraiser that supports those giving organizations dedicated to children who benefit from chiropractic care.
It is now time for our profession to develop a fundraising attitude that would not only give back to "one of our own," but also raise the awareness level to our patients and community. If you have a family practice, your patients are often unaware that challenged children receive numerous benefits from spinal adjustments. When you share the stories of your pediatric patients who have improvement of function to their bodies, patients become excited for these little miracles.
The ICPA would like your practice or state association to raise the awareness in our communities that chiropractic would like to make a difference for children.
Our goal for 1999 is to raise $25,000 for Oklahaven and Kentuckiana. Both operate children centers within their communities. Oklahaven has just celebrated its 36th anniversary; Kentuckiana has been providing services for over 41 years.
Dr. Bobby Doscher has been the CEO of Oklahaven since 1979. She says that the center's focus is to "tell the chiropractic story through the children." The majority of children who come to Oklahaven Children's Center have experienced the best that traditional medicine has been able to offer them, but they and their parents continue to seek alternative answers. Dr. Doscher believes that one of the rewards of running this center is seeing these small patients improve with each adjustment, restoring their health through the body's recuperative powers. Parents often witness the miracles of seeing their children begin living full, meaningful lives.
For those who have never worked with the sick and challenged, these miracles are not uncommon. Some examples are: babies holding their heads up for the first time or sleeping through the night; children experiencing ceased or diminished seizure activity; eating without pain; or learning to speak, eat or walk independently.
Kentuckiana Children's Center was founded by the late Dr. Lorraine Golden, who ran the center for four decades. Although Dr. Golden will be missed, Kentuckiana Children's Center continues to persevere with the appointment of Hal Hedley as executive director and Dr. Cheryl Ward as clinic director. Also serving the center and carrying on with Dr. Golden's mission are Drs. Sharon Vallone, Natalie Wiesman and Porter. Dr. Golden once stated that "Our basic philosophy will continue to be that no child will be denied the health care or the special education needed just because the family cannot afford the services."
What can our profession do for these children centers? First, understand that both of these centers rely solely on donations for their operating funds. As is typical of most nonprofit organizations, they often lack the manpower to develop or implement a large-scale fundraiser.
How Do I Get Started?
Contact the ICPA at 800-670-KIDS (800-670-5437) and request the Holiday Angel flyer and instructions. One side of the flyer contains "the story" of these centers and an appeal to your patients to donate to the children. Printed on the other side of the flyer is the Holiday Children's Angel. Sit down with your office and set a goal. We are going to raise $200, $500 or $1,000 for this event. Commit to sharing this fundraiser with all your patients.
When you receive your flyer, prepare 100 copies on construction paper. Ask your patients if they would like to sponsor an angel. The suggested sponsor is $1 to $10 for each angel, although any amount would be welcome.
Here are a few ideas to promote the angel. Attach an angel flyer to every travel card in the practice. Hang your angels on your office Christmas tree or in all your adjusting room. Create a large poster for your reception room. Ask your parents of challenged children in your practice if they will provide a testimonial and allow you to photograph their child. Post these pictures in your practice.
If a patient sponsors an angel, print the sponsor's name on the line provided and have a child (either the patient's child or another child patient in your office) decorate the angel. Upon completion, the child should sign his or her name as the "little artist." Another idea is to photograph the sponsor and little artist and mount the pictures to the artwork.
If you live in a smaller community, contact your local newspaper, radio or television station and see if they would produce a story on the event.
Here are some ideas for implementing the decoration of your angels:
Set up an "angel art table" in your waiting room. Cover a card table with a white plastic tablecloth and put a plastic sheet underneath it to catch any messes. Stock the table with art supplies (e.g., coloring crayons, glue, glitter, glitter pens, sequins, yarn, etc.). Your local art or school supply store will probably have everything you'll need.
Instruct your staff to ask your young patients to help with decorating the angels. Once the angels have been decorated, cut them out and decorate your office for the holidays. Place them on your office Christmas tree, hallways, bulletin boards, adjusting rooms and outdoor windows.
State or Local Associations
If you belong to a state or local chiropractic association, send your members an angel with this article and share with your members how your group would like to adopt this fundraiser. Use your newsletter to announce the program, and later recognize your members who participated in the event.
Here's a checklist to help you implement the program:
Holiday Children Angel Checklist
Have questions? Call the ICPA at 800-670-5437, or review the Holiday Children's Angel updates on our website at www.4icpa.org .
The holiday season is one of cheerful giving. Chances are your patients will love the opportunity to participate in this program. This would be a great time to share your stories about the challenged children in your practice. Take photos of your challenged child and mount them on your bulletin board. Allow the Holiday Children's Angel event to do two things: raise funds for two worthy organizations and increase the awareness in your practice that chiropractors can help the lives of the challenged.
Click here for more information about Claudia Anrig, DC.