Let’s All Back the Blue

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill

“For it is in giving that we receive.” – St. Francis of Assisi

“The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.” – Oscar Wilde

I could keep going, and I probably will later, but those of us who have must give to those who do not have. We, the TSO Network, have. It is our duty, and it should be our desire, to give some of what we have to others. That is why the Back the Blue program has been developed. To show our appreciation to the men and women in blue who do so much to keep all of us safe.

Jerry Hayes states that less than 5% of optometric practices ever get past the $1 million dollar annual revenue landmark. When I was preparing for my talk at Vision Quest this past year, I discovered that in 2014, 56% of the offices in the TSO Network did at least $1 million or more in revenue. That’s 56% compared to less than 5% nationwide! So what does that mean? It means that we are good!! We as a network have 10 times the national average of offices doing $1 million in annual revenue. It also means that we have!

Now I understand that our recent graduates have a lot of school debt. I understand that it takes about $500,000 to open an office these days and that all this money has to be paid back at reduced reimbursements from the vision plans. I know and it can be tough in the early going, I have been there. But I guarantee you that we can all do at least one free exam per year for the men and women in blue.

You don’t have to do it all yourself. As Mother Teresa said, “If you can’t feed a hundred people, then just feed one.” Some of us can probably afford to do a large number of free eye exams, especially if we practice in a large city. If so, we should each do as many as we can. Some of the newer offices may not be able to do as many. That’s OK. We can do this, and we should all do this. This program should have 100% participation throughout the network. It is the right thing to do.

In fact, as Chairman of the Board, I am encouraging us to do more. You can think of it as goodwill, as public relations, as marketing, or as giving from the heart. I don’t care. I just think that we as a network have a tremendous opportunity to do much good in our neighborhoods. Be it the homeless, battered women, Coats for Kids Foundation, Salvation Army or Lone Star Veterans Association; there are so many good organizations we could help. Just think if we each gave $1000 per year. That’s $125,000. We could really do something with that kind of money. We gave $1,000,000 to UHCO for their expansion. We could really do some great things by doing it together. But I am getting ahead of myself.

Let’s all get behind and involved in the Back the Blue program. It will only cost us a little of our time, but it will have a tremendous impact for those who keep us safe. Let’s all sign up and show our communities that TSO Cares!!

“At the end of the day it’s not about what you have or even what you‘ve accomplished … It’s about who you’ve lifted up, who you’ve made better. It’s about what you’ve given back.” – Denzel Washington

“What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal.” -Albert Pine

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much” Helen Keller