4 steps to get involved in your local community
Want to get involved in your local community but not sure how to get the ball rolling? Janet Leasher, O.D., M.P.H., director of community outreach at Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry, offers these helpful tips about how optometrists can take their expertise and provide volunteer services in their own backyards.
1. Like what you do? Then do what you love.
Take a moment to consider the subject-matter areas or experiences that are of a personal interest, and start to look for opportunities within your comfort zone to get involved, Dr. Leasher says.
2. Look to your base.
Unsure of where to turn to get involved? Start with your own patient base. Dr. Leasher says conversations during routine exams can highlight a patient as the perfect liaison to community involvement through his or her own affiliations or networking opportunities.
3. Gather your resources.
As the gears start moving for your upcoming volunteer work, make sure you equip yourself with the right tools for the job. Use the resources at your disposal as an AOA member and find everything you need for community outreach, such as pamphlets, displays and information sheets at AOA Marketplace.
4. Just do it.
Don't be intimidated by volunteer work. Go out and get involved because the groundwork you put into the community will be rewarding, Dr. Leasher says. Community members remember the smiling face that donated time and services.
Find out how other ODs are providing volunteer service in their local communities in the November/December 2014 edition of AOA Focus.