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Get Patients Involved

You can’t miss the dedication to giving back at Myoptic Optometry in Portland, Oregon. Printed on the glass windows and on the wall in each of her three locations, practice owner Summy To, OD, has displayed her mission: See the world better®. Founded on a principle of contribution and community, Myoptic gives a portion of our profits to a charity that you help choose.

And visitors to the practice website’s Giving Back tab should be prepared to be blown away. The page displays a ticker tracking donations made to a number of local charities since she opened in 2010—totaling more than $50,000. “I’ve always had a nonprofit, business philosophy and wanted to give back to the community,” Dr. To says.

She started getting patients involved even before she had her own practice, while she was leasing a space to provide eye exams. “Patients could choose from one of four nonprofits, and we would give a portion of the proceeds to the organization they chose.” Now at Myoptic, patients also can designate at checkout where they would like their exam’s donation to go.

Dr. To has a few criteria when selecting charities to support. She looks for Portland-based organizations with high ratings for their ethics, as well as a variety of causes in different areas from environmental impact to international aid, hunger and social justice, to name a few. Currently, she’s supporting the Oregon Food Bank, Mercy Corps, Oregon Public Broadcasting, The Street Trust and the Pride Foundation. The practice also started a scholarship program a few years ago.

Beyond financial support, Dr. To also provided nearly 700 free eye exams and eyeglasses to people in need. Through connections with a local high school, Dress for Success, Salvation Army and the Pride Foundation, candidates are identified for the exams, and a frame vendor and lab donate frames and lenses for the patients. “It’s totally free, and it’s nice to have those partnerships with the organizations to help organize our efforts.”

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