But how many of these causes directly relate to your profession? As part of its mission, the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) has always attempted to fundraise or increase awareness for nonprofit organizations that support or are in some way related to chiropractic. Two of these worthy organizations are Oklahaven and Kentuckiana. Both operate children's centers within their communities. Oklahaven has just celebrated their 35th anniversary; Kentuckiana has been providing services for over 40 years.
Dr. Bobby Doscher has been the CEO of Oklahaven since 1979. She states that the center's focus is to "tell the chiropractic story through the children." The majority of children who come to the 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 shares that one of the rewards of running this center is seeing these small patients improve with each adjustment, restoring their health through their own recuperative powers. Parents often witness the miracle 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: seeing babies hold their heads up for the first time or sleep through the night; children experiencing ceased or diminished seizure activity; eating without pain; or learning to speak, eat or walk independently.
Kentuckiana has been spearheaded by Dr. Lorraine Golden over the past four decades. Although she has recently retired, her work continues with Drs. Vallone, Barnes, Liesman and Porter serving the center. Dr. Golden states, "Our basic philosophy will continue to be that no child will be denied the health care and/or special education needed just because the family cannot afford the services." It should be noted that the board of directors recently announced that the children's center is closed at the time due to lack of funds.
This lack of funds is often a dilemma that occurs on a monthly basis for many non-profits. It is the belief of the ICPA that it is time for the chiropractic profession to give back to "one of our own."
What Can You Do?
First, understand that both of these centers rely solely on donations for their operating funds. And as is typical of most nonprofit organizations, they often lack the manpower to develop or implement a large-scale fundraiser.
The ICPA has an answer. December 1998 will be the launch of our annual Holiday Children's Angel Fundraiser. Our goal this year is to raise $50,000 for Oklahaven and Kentuckiana.
Enclosed in this issue is a flyer that was produced and printed with the generous assistance of Dynamic Chiropractic. 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.
To begin participating, you should photocopy a supply of angels on white construction paper, then copy and post the flyer so that "the story" is at your front desk and/or other visible areas (perhaps a copy in each adjusting room). Ask your patients if they would like to sponsor an angel. The suggested sponsor price is $5 to $10 for each angel, although any amount would be welcome. Next, 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."
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 and adjusting rooms.
Here's a checklist to help you implement the program:
Holiday Children Angel Checklist
1. Photocopy angel on white construction paper.
2. Take the Dynamic Chiropractic flyer and display "the story" side at the front desk or put copies in all the adjusting rooms.
3. Set up your angel art table with supplies.
4. Ask for $5 or $10 sponsors.
5. Have your patients make their checks out the ICPA-Angel Fund.
6. If you receive cash, make a receipt out to the sponsor. At the end of December, have the office send one check with a copy of the donors' names attached.
7. Send the checks after December 27, 1998 to: ICPA, 5295 Highway 78, Suite 362, Stone Mountain, GA 30087.
Have questions? Call the ICPA at 1-800-670-5437 or review the Holiday Children's Angel updates on our website at www.4icpa.org.
The holiday season is one of cheerful giving, and 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 level in your practice that chiropractic can help the lives of the challenged.
Claudia Anrig, DC
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