Volunteer Ideas for Dental Office Managers
Every AADOM member is familiar with the saying, “ AADOM Cares. ”
The Triangle Area Chapter in Raleigh, NC began our role in “AADOM Cares” back in 2018 when Hurricane Florence catastrophically flooded the coast of North Carolina. Since then, we’ve made it our mission to give back to our local, dental, and AADOM communities.
How does one get started in volunteering? What should you do? Who needs what you have to offer?
It’s really quite simple.
Think of the services that you, your dental practice, and your local AADOM chapter can offer to those in need.
Start brainstorming ideas with your staff, doctors, and your fellow chapter members. You never know what’s out there and who needs your help, but remember that volunteering starts with you!
Ideas for volunteering by yourself
Begin with volunteering your personal time. You might find a non-profit dental clinic in your area that needs help.
We have a clinic here in Raleigh called Wake Smiles. Some of our local chapter members have volunteered their time helping with administrative duties, such as greeting patients upon entering the clinic, checking patients out at the end of their visit, and making appointment reminder calls.
You never know what daily tasks that have become second nature to you might make the difference in helping a clinic in need run more efficiently. Even though you are not a clinical person, remember that you still have talents that are needed in these facilities!
Ideas for volunteering with your practice
One of the best things you can do for your practice is to have your entire team volunteer their time together! This is a huge team-building activity, and nothing makes you feel more bonded than to give back to your community together!
Here are a few ideas that the team at our dental practice do to “give back” to our community:
1. Freedom Day USA
The biggest event our office participates in is Freedom Day USA, which is America’s largest military thank you event. On the second Thursday of every October, businesses thank our military by offering free goods and services to active military and their immediate family members, as well as retired veterans.
Last year marked our eighth year of participation in the event, and our practice donated $48,500 in dental care services. Our team looks forward to this day every year, and we celebrate by wearing t-shirts that say, “We serve you because you served us!” We decorate the entire office in red, white, and blue and have a bakery make patriotic tooth cookies for our patients to enjoy after their appointment!
To learn more about this great event, visit www.freedomdayusa.org… This text opens a new tab to the Freedom Day website….
2. Food drives
Every year, our office holds a food drive for our local food pantry at Urban Ministries. To make it more fun, we invite our patients to donate as well, and for every 100 lbs we collect, our doctors have agreed to let us throw a pie in their faces.
Our patients love it, and our doctors are great sports. When the food drive comes to an end, our team stocks and sorts the shelves with the items we collected. We have even donated additional time sorting through bulk bags of rice and beans and portioning them into smaller baggies for use.
3. Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk
Every October, we recognize Breast Cancer Awareness Month by collecting donations and participating as a team in Avon’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk. We invite our families, patients, and even take our pets to participate in the 5K while wearing matching pink t-shirts with our team name, “Cancer Fighting Machine,” on the back.
Not only is it a great bonding experience for our team, but the event has become very important to us over the years, as we celebrate the strength of our few team members who are breast cancer survivors.
Ideas for volunteering with your AADOM chapter
AADOM cares! If you are lucky enough to belong to a local AADOM Chapter, this is something that your chapter can easily do.
1. Volunteer at a Ronald McDonald’s house
Our chapter signed up at the Ronald McDonald house at Duke University Hospital and bought supplies for a “taco night.” We all pitched in to prepare the dinner and serve it to the families and children that were receiving treatment. What a great night that was!
2. Donate during hard times
During the COVID pandemic, we helped a few families that were hit during this hard time.
We sent a message out to all of the dental offices in the Raleigh area asking for personal nominations of anyone in the dental community that needed help. Of the nominations that we received, we chose three families to donate Visa gift cards to. You know what they say, “every little bit helps.” And during these times when finances were tight, these families were truly appreciative.
3. Partner with other chapters
As previously mentioned, Hurricane Florence devastated the North Carolina coast in 2018. In an effort to help during their time of loss, our local AADOM Triangle chapter partnered with the AADOM Wilmington Chapter, and with the help of AADOM, it went national! We received many generous donations that people selected from a list of needed supplies and rented a truck to deliver them to the affected area. The Wilmington Chapter and the Triangle Chapter became true sister chapters that weekend.
4. Help during the holidays
A few months after Hurricane Florence hit, we also held a Christmas party for kids who lost everything they had. The Wilmington Chapter worked with some churches and organizations to choose families that needed assistance with providing their children a memorable Christmas.
Once these families were picked, we reached out to dental practices throughout the Raleigh and Wilmington areas and asked if anyone was willing to “adopt” them for the holiday season.
When it came time for the actual Christmas party, a wedding venue in the Wilmington area was generous enough to donate their beautiful barn and a barbeque lunch for all of the families and volunteers. We had hayrides, did crafts, and even Santa made an appearance to greet all the children.
AADOM truly cared during this horrific time!
Feeling inspired to take action?
You can do a million different things to give your time. There is so much out there for you, your practice, or your AADOM chapter to choose from.
I hope that by giving you a few ideas, that’ll light the fire in you to get out there and volunteer!
Remember that volunteering is good for the soul.
Meet the Author
Debbie has been in the dental industry for almost 30 years and has served as the practice administrator for Wainright & Wassel, DDS… This text opens a new tab to the practice’s website… in Raleigh, NC since 2005.
Debbie is a proud lifetime AADOM member and serves as co-president of the AADOM Triangle Chapter… This text opens a new tab to the chapter’s website…, which is the largest chapter in the country and named “Chapter of the Year” for three years. Debbie was awarded Practice Administrator of the Year in 2020.
She and her husband Ron have two children and four grandchildren.