Group of volunteers

A salute for national volunteer week, April 6-12

National Volunteer Week is a time to celebrate people doing extraordinary things through service. Established in 1974, National Volunteer Week focuses national attention on the impact and power of volunteerism and service as an integral aspect of our civic leadership.

By Mitchell T. Munson, O.D., AOA  President, an excerpt from 'From the President', March 2014 AOA Focus

Soldiers of the Profession

Volunteers have shaped optometry's past and present. Now, they'll shape the future.

When pondering the road to advancement of any issue—specifically, the genesis of ideas, the catalyst of activity and the profession's call to action to ensure fruition—one has to look no further than volunteers in organized optometry.

At its core, organized optometry is defined by the efforts, the spirit and the vision of its volunteers. These colleagues collectively possess the full gamut of experience and immeasurable passion. They selflessly put forward their time and talents, which, when choreographed strategically, can yield almost limitless outcomes for the benefit of our patients and our profession.

For the past 25 years it has been my distinct privilege and pleasure to work shoulder to shoulder with some of the brightest and most dedicated volunteers my generation has known. But our professional heritage, starting with the humble beginnings of organized optometry, has been defined by the foresight and commitments of the many volunteers and leaders who served before us. I now possess a much deeper understanding and appreciation of their efforts.

Indeed, many of us are soldiers standing up for what is right in the face of opposition, criticism and scrutiny. True soldiers endure the fight because of their beliefs and their desire to make the world better. It is this sense of "soldiering" that not only draws volunteers of like mind together, but in the end, has also left the profession better for future generations.

I sincerely thank all AOA volunteers for their commitment of time and talent.

Read more in the March edition of AOA Focus, pages 16, 18, 36.

April 7, 2014

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