What has prompted your practice to focus its energies on giving back to your community and to regularly embed it into your programs and events?
We had been giving back to our community for years by providing vision examinations and eyewear to those who could not afford care. We were best known for our vision therapy scholarship fund which enabled children whose families could not afford care to receive life changing vision therapy services. When we arrived at the realization that the community we served was not aware or the services we provided, and at times even our employees were not aware of our giving, we knew something needed to change.
About 3 years ago, we began surveying our more than 60 employees. The survey shared our current giving back efforts and asked them where they thought Professional VisionCare would be able to help. We also asked our employees for specific organizations or causes that they felt strongly about.
Ever since, we have made it a priority to serve, sponsor and team up with great causes, most of them local. Each event is advertised to both our employees and our community to let them know they can partner with us.
What results has your practice achieved in terms of serving your community through corporate social responsibility (CSR)?
The result of giving back to our community has been two-fold. First, our staff have bonded in ways that usually do not happen in the workplace. Whether planting trees together or serving meals at a homeless shelter, we learned more about each other and our families. Oftentimes, our families were serving alongside us as well.
In many situations, we often felt that the joy of helping others was the greatest benefit, even more so than the charity itself.
Moreover, we saw a direct impact of our efforts on the people we served. One such project was answering the Facebook post of a local high school teacher who asked for several large fans to cool her classroom when school was starting the next day. The heat wave was unbearable, and within hours we had 2 van loads of volunteers and fans delivering her request.
How have your programs/initiatives improved over time?
We have asked our employees to be our eyes and ears. When they hear of a specific need, they bring it to us and if possible, we honor it. By using Facebook and Instagram more effectively, we are reaching out to people that have not heard of Professional Visioncare’s Giving Back initiatives.
What differentiates you from other practices? How would you describe your practice’s mission?
We are different from other practices, and live by the following words:
In everything we do, we believe we change lives, one person at a time.
We do this by going above and beyond in how we care and serve others.
We provide the highest quality vision care, create a unique experience for our patients, celebrate our employee’s talents, and generously give back to the community.
We aim to change lives.
For example, during the open house of our new location, we asked our beautiful and very talented 21 year old patient, Zayne Harshaw, to provide the music for our event. Zayne, who has a local band, was by far the star of the evening. In between sets, a young 12 year old with autism introduced himself to Zayne, and told him how much he enjoyed his music. You see, Zayne also has autism and found a way to do something he loved despite his condition. This young 12-year old was inspired, as were all of us.
Visit Zayne Harshaw to learn more about his inspiring story:
What are your philanthropic goals for the next three to five years?
We wish to increase our footprint by partnering with local businesses and organizations. Together we can give more than we can individually.
What changes do you believe would make the world a better place?
We would like to see people with a diversity of opinions working side by side for a common cause. This can only happen once each of us get to know someone who holds a different viewpoint, and instead of focusing on what sets us apart, we get to know them as a person, with a heart, a family and someone who is loved and loves others.
What would you like to pass on to future generations?
Always be kind, even to those that believe differently than you do.