Music on Memory Lane

sheriblog3 “It feels like a new beginning!” Sheri grins, showing off her terrific smile. She’s not talking about her dental work – she’s referring to her new occupation. Sheri and her husband, video DJ Jeff Sherer, bring fun to senior centers and nursing homes. Jeff serves as the DJ and Sheri is the dancer. Together, they create a bright spot for their audience members, many of whom have uneventful and often lonely lives.

As scenes from musical performances and landmark events of eras gone by appear on a large screen, Jeff plays the music that takes his audience down “Memory Lane” while Sheri dances, “shmoozes” and invites people to join in. They have trivia contests where the audience gets a chance to win CDs from Jeff’s vast collection. It’s an extravaganza born from passion: a passion for music, and for caring. Sheri worked as a nurse for 30 years, fulfilling her innate need to nurture and care for others. Her partnership with Jeff is a fun, energetic way to express that same ability. (more…)

Marketing, Marathons and Motherhood

tyblog1Tanya finds a free moment to talk to me as she’s putting the finishing touches on a speech she’ll be delivering to a group of interns next week on how to be successful in marketing.
“I’m trying to be careful and not sound like I’m full of myself, but they want me to talk about my successes,” she tells me, “I also want the chance to talk about Team Lifeline, I need to raise awareness whenever I can“. Twenty-nine years old, with seven years experience in marketing for the Assisted Living industry, Tanya was recently recruited to work as Marketing Director for Team Lifeline. The organization is an endurance training program that brings teams to destination races to raise money for its parent organization Chai Lifeline, a charity that benefits children with life threatening illnesses. Team Lifeline participants raise money through marathons 10K races and bike races all over the country. (more…)

The Next Generation of Doing Good

Many of my patients are parents of young adults and teens. Through the years, parents have shared their stories and concerns with me, and despite the variety in culture and background represented in my patient population, parents have certain concerns in common across the board. They worry that the emphasis on instant gratification in society, focused on the needs and desires of individuals, might be producing a generation of selfish offspring. They wonder if the fast-paced electronic world is a place where “old school” values of charity and social consciousness can thrive. They want to be reassured that their children will achieve, but will also care.

Enter Good St. This foundling company is the not-for-profit project of four college students, designed as a platform for giving. The approach is the brainchild of Joe, one of the four, who at the age of twenty-one had begun to earn some money, wanted to start giving charity but wondered if the small amount he could afford would make a difference. He felt bombarded by so many important causes demanding attention, that he worried he would get overwhelmed and freeze, resulting in not donating to anything. Additionally, it was important to him to develop the habit of a “daily act of goodness” increasing what Joe calls, “the significance of what we do.”

Launched with the slogan, “Do Good Every Day,” the group aims to “open the conversation” regarding the wide variety of important causes that exist, and the opportunities we have to contribute and help implement change. They use their knowledge of electronics and coding to make it easy to do. As a subscriber, I gave them information about how much I want to donate daily which can be as little as twenty-five cents a day. I get a daily email with a choice of two featured charities. They run the gamut of a broad range of causes including breast cancer research, education, human rights and hunger to name a few. All I have to do is read the short blurb of information about each charity and click on the charity of my choice. I can also view statistics and find out how much was donated to the charities from the day before. The whole thing takes a minute or two and I come out feeling good about myself.

In addition to donating, college students have been enthusiastically volunteering in an effort to promote what Good St. does and get people involved. They talk to people in New York City and on college campuses. They sell t-shirts bearing their slogan. They use social media to get the word out as well. The company hopes to grow to the point where they will have corporate sponsors who will match donations. They want to create a forum for people to help design the choices by recommending charities to include. It is a testament to their integrity that they struggle with the ethical dilemma of how much influence to exert. As Jeff, another of the officers described, they wonder how much guidance to provide. “Let’s say people overlook an important charity?”

Good St. is causing a sensation that is worth keeping alive. You don’t have to be twenty-something to participate. The message of doing small things to make a difference is worth spreading. So get started and join the movement to DO GOOD EVERY DAY!

Click here to get started

A Dentist Hoping for Lollipop Moments

myheadshotAs I celebrate the start of my twenty-fifth year practicing dentistry in Rockland County, there’s a lot to look back on and be grateful for. I find myself wondering what I hope to see as I look back, and what I want to continue doing as I move forward.  The answer I come up with every time is that what I value most are the relationships with my patients that have given me the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives.

Many of you are familiar with TED, the non-profit group dedicated to making a difference through sharing ideas. In fact, their slogan is “ideas worth spreading.” In writing this blog, my hope is to share ideas with my patients – and anyone else who finds this – that will make even a small difference, by helping them improve health, learn something new, or shed a little light on a new perspective. The photo, at the recent TEDx conference in Manhattan, was taken by my niece, Tamar, of me pretending to give a TED talk. For me it represents my desire to always continue to share and learn.

I’m attaching a link to a short TED talk about how small everyday actions can have a big impact on others. In it, Drew Dudley tells a story about how giving someone a lollipop made a big impression, and encourages us all to pay attention to our lollipop moments. Even as a dentist, I have to agree. So watch and enjoy, and let me know what you think!

TEDx Upper East Side
TEDx Upper East Side