The Importance of Giving Back with Dr. Annie Bishop: Podcast Episode #202
Kristin Revere chats with Dr. Annie Bishop of Rise Wellness Chiropractic about the importance of giving back. You can listen to this complete podcast episode on iTunes, SoundCloud, or wherever you find your podcasts.
Welcome. You’re listening to Ask the Doulas, a podcast where we talk to experts from all over the country about topics related to pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and early parenting. Let’s chat!
Kristin: Hello, hello. This is Kristin with Ask the Doulas, and I am so excited to chat today with Dr. Annie Bishop of Rise Wellness Chiropractic. Welcome, Annie!
Dr. Annie: Hey, Kristin. Thanks for having me on here. Super excited to be here again.
Kristin: Yeah, it’s been a while!
Dr. Annie: It has.
Kristin: So for our listeners, if you’d tell us a bit about your chiropractic practice and how they can connect with you if they are local to the greater Grand Rapids area.
Dr. Annie: Sure. So Rise Wellness Chiropractic is myself and then Dr. Rachel Babbitt. And we have a pediatric and perinatal focused chiropractic practice right here in GR, and we’re located on the corner of Diamond and Lake. We always say we’re where Marie Catrib’s used to be.
Kristin: Yes, the center of the universe, as it was always called.
Dr. Annie: Center of the universe was such a highlight in our community. And so we’re happy to, like, create more community in that area and be just like in the heart of Grand Rapids, which is so fun and so – like, we love our space and we love being a part of that community. So like I said, we’re pediatric. I’m fully pediatric certified through the International Chiropractic Pediatrics Association. Both Dr. Rachel and I have Webster certification, and we’ve done advanced perinatal training. So we pretty much see women through their entire pregnancy journey and then beyond that, too, with their kiddos and their whole families.
Kristin: So for our listeners who haven’t heard you on past episodes, could you define what a Webster certified chiro is and how that is a bit different from other chiropractors?
Dr. Annie: I would love to. So Webster certification was started by Larry Webster, who was a chiropractor who focused on pregnancy and really saw all the benefits, and it’s really expanded. So that was, like, in the 70s, and it’s expanded from there. So now all over the world there’s Webster certified chiropractors, and it’s really in the analysis and adjustment technique that focuses on the mom’s pelvis and getting that in good alignment or neurological coordination, like most chiropractors do, but also to create optimal positioning so that baby can get into the right position so mom’s labor is super easy so recovery is easier. Just all of those great things that we want with a birth.
Kristin: Love it. So now that we’ve learned a bit about your practice, let’s jump to our topic today which is all about giving back. So you have participated in Gold Coast’s annual diaper drive even before you started Rise and when you were in a different practice.
Dr. Annie: Yes, a whole lifetime ago!
Kristin: Totally, a whole lifetime ago. You have really focused your business, when you and Dr. Rachel started Rise, all about giving back to the community and making a difference which, again, like with Gold Coast being a certified B Corp, it is everything we live and breathe is giving back and making a difference and being a for profit versus a nonprofit company and also creating change and I’ve always been impressed not only by how you have been all in on our diaper drive since day one but also in all of the other give backs that you do throughout the year. So let’s chat a bit about that.
Dr. Annie: Sure, yeah. I would love to. So this is what – is this your sixth that we’ve done diaper drive with you?
Kristin: Yeah, you’ve done six of the eight with us, yes.
Dr. Annie: That’s wild. How time flies. Yeah, so diaper drive is one of our favorite give backs. You guys really started us on this path with the diaper drive and stuff, and we just jumped all in because it’s such a great organization and it’s such a fun drive to do, and it’s something that’s so easy for our community, too, because we have parents who are transitioning out of different diaper sizes.
Kristin: Exactly, and we take open packages, and so if you have a handful left and don’t have anyone with that right size, they’re getting put to good use.
Dr. Annie: Yeah. We end up just collecting them year round, honestly.
Kristin: So do we. We keep them, yeah. I just brought them into my office.
Dr. Annie: Yep, we do the same thing. We just, like, as kids are growing out of their diapers, we just, like, hold on to them and then we have, like, a diaper change station in our office, too, so it always – like, it benefits us and our patients that come in on a day to day basis, like if they don’t have a diaper bag with them, we have supplies for them. But then we donate all the rest of them to the diaper drive in September, which is one of our favorite ones that we do. But I guess to kind of backtrack a little bit, this whole idea of being – I don’t know, just being a good business. You know, giving back to the community that nourishes us, like, one of our – I mean, one of our major, like, our moral tenets, I guess, like, we – both Rachel and I have always wanted to give back and wanted to serve the community. That’s why we became chiropractors because we wanted to do good. And our whole structure of our practice is based around a really pivotal transition point in people’s lives. And so we do home visits for those moms at no extra cost. We want to be a part of their lives and their family’s growing, but we also want to be a part of the bigger community, too. So we try to focus on give backs that are focused on kids, so we try to do a back to school drive every year. We used to do with DA Blodgett and we transitioned it to GRPS. And then this year we actually instead of the back to school drive, we did a food fundraiser in the middle of summer because what was happening was we were just doing two drives back to back with the diaper drive, and this has been such a solid one for us over the years, so we decided to do a food pantry drive this summer, and that was super successful because we know food pantries are always – they got a lot of donations, like around the holidays, but they’re usually running pretty empty in the summer, so we tried to get a bunch of food together and donate this summer to feeding America, West Michigan. Other ones: we sponsor a kiddo in Honduras, too, through Children’s Home Project. One of our friends, Abby, is a photographer with them and raises money with Children’s Home Project, so we sponsor a kiddo through our office. And we just try to do things that are – we talked about how hard it is because so many organizations are asking for money, and we try to really focus on ones that are going to make the biggest impact in our community, especially in the lives of kids as they’re growing and developing. So that’s kind of our focus there.
Kristin: Yeah, and it’s one thing to obviously volunteer yourselves as business owners or give money directly to charity, but I love the fact that you are very similar to Gold Coast in that we involve our clients. You involve your patients and give back and how life changing that can be because they’re also invested and feel like when they see the numbers and the social media posts, like, that they made a difference, as well as your practice, versus you just saying, I gave $1000 to this charity, you know?
Dr. Annie: It’s fun being able to talk about it, but like, we don’t – I mean, we’re just the hub. We organize it, I guess. And we end up doing the donation, but it’s all of our – it’s our community. It’s our patients that are the ones who are doing the donations and stuff, too. We have families that year over year, you know, are like, when is the diaper drive? We’re already collecting diapers or we’re going to go out and buy some huge packs to donate every year, and they’re the ones who are really – like, we do – we also buy some diapers to throw in.
Kristin: Same, yeah.
Dr. Annie: We have such awesome patients. It’s been such an awesome community that also cares about this.
Kristin: Exactly, and I will never forget the social posts that I’ve reshared so many times where you’ve got the mountain of diapers and you’re pointing at it. Your clients – your patients can just be like, hey, you know, that stack right there, that was me. And yeah, even the little, the smallest donation makes a huge difference and as a way to recycle cloth diapers and cloth supplies and be good for the environment and help families in need. Diaper drives in the area, like Nestlings Diaper Bank works with some schools and churches in Ottawa County, and they partner with Great Start in Kent County for our drives since many of the businesses, like your own, participate and are located in Kent County. So we’re able to make an impact, and then they directly distribute the diapers to families in need. So, yeah, it’s such a wonderful program that has so much impact because social service organizations do not give diapers. It’s not part of the program with WIC and related organizations.
Dr. Annie: Blows my mind every time we talk about that.
Kristin: Yeah, and the fact that the need is, like, one in two families now this year.
Dr. Annie: Diapers are expensive, yeah.
Kristin: Exactly. They’re so expensive and with inflation and prices raising on everything from diapers to food, with your food drive being so relevant, people just can’t afford the basics and if social service programs aren’t covering it, then what do you do? Then your baby is unhappy, crying, will get diaper rash and not sleep. You’re not sleeping. And so it’s this cascading effect, and so the fact that both of our businesses are able to give back to the community and involve our clients and patients and they can see that impact and then the social service organizations distribute to the people who need it most versus us just guessing and trying to find families in need. But yes, I mean, food prices really targeting your giving based on what’s important in the area. Again, back to school drives when that’s needed, and pivoting, I think, is so essential. We’ve focused some of our foundation giving to some rural hospitals through Trinity Health St. Mary’s Foundation and everything from blood pressure cuffs to giving to Clinica Santa Maria and to the Hispanic population and directing dollars to the programs even with the foundation giving. Like Spectrum Foundation; we focused on breastfeeding moms and educating nursing staff.
Dr. Annie: That’s so cool. I didn’t realize you guys did all that, too.
Kristin: Yeah. So a lot of our Pine Rest Mother Baby program. Again, that’s giving dollars but really directing – Pine Rest is such a big organization – to programs that serve low income women and children in our target demographic as a B Corp.
Dr. Annie: So cool, yeah.
Kristin: As far as making impact and being passionate about your work, what other tips do you have for listeners who want to make a difference? They might not live in West Michigan and be able to directly contribute to our diaper drive or other drives like you do, like the food drive, for example. But how can our listeners make an impact in their own community, or if they happen to own a business, what are your tips for really making that important choice to not only give dollars but time and take, as you know, the time to set up a drive and promote the drive?
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Dr. Annie: Yeah, I mean, it’s a lot of work, but not really. I think you just need to get into your community. Like, just be passionate and just be embedded in your community because that’s – you will find need, and need will find you. And I think the biggest thing is just like, we as business owners get too concerned about, like – I don’t know, we get concerned about numbers and stuff. That’s part of business. But it’s not just about you. Our businesses especially, Kristin, we’re of service. And so it just kind of expands from there. So I think if you come at it from an aspect of, like, I am doing this business to, like, serve my greater community, to serve these families, to serve these people, you see where there’s pockets of non-service, basically. So we see where there’s pockets of families who can’t afford food or families who can’t afford diapers, who can’t afford back to school supplies, and so we see those things, and it just becomes more clear of like, oh, this is a great way for us to better serve our community again. The initial drive comes from there, from just being of good fellowship, good humanitarian, and that’s kind of – you will find that in any community that you look at. Anyone who’s not in West Michigan, just look at your own community. There’s always pockets of need there. And then find ways that you can best fill those. I mean, out of abundance of love and service and caring, you will find room to give, and then that will also come back to you. There’s no – for me, there is no ask that’s not going to also come back into our community, so it’s really – it sounds like a little karma, but it’s like you give and you receive, and that’s just kind of the way that the world works. So why not give as much as you can?
Kristin: Exactly. And some businesses choose to give a certain portion of their proceeds to a cause. There’s so many ways to engage. At Gold Coast, we focus directly giving to the areas in need versus just attending a gala or a fundraiser, which I do and I pay for those on my own and don’t include that in our annual giving for the sense of community and the networking possibilities, but again, just really –
Dr. Annie: Yeah, that stuff’s all super important because networking is – you need to know people in the community and that’s how you – that’s a lot of the ways that you meet people.
Kristin: You do. But rather than give $500 to attend an event, I would rather give it directly to families in need. So if I attend a ticketed event, it’s like a different focus. But my biggest tip for our listeners that want to give back is don’t create a nonprofit arm or start something that is so time intensive and would take away from your work. Partner with someone. I have so many partners in this annual diaper drive, including Rise. Mindful Counseling, Mind Body Baby Yoga. So many different businesses.
Dr. Annie: Those are good people, yeah.
Kristin: Yeah, and they are working to promote the event and be involved because I couldn’t do it on my own. So creating community and something larger than yourself and not having to, again, do all the work that takes you away from your clients and patients.
Dr. Annie: And it’s so easy to get people amped up on giving back. Like, it’s really easy.
Kristin: Yes, and you’ve been involved in your community as well. So you and I served on the East Town Board together, and then once you moved, you are very involved in Uptown and your neighborhood business district. So for me, it’s not only getting involved in the passion areas for Gold Coast but also in our neighborhood, in our community, and getting to know other business owners. We’ve got four of our business partners who reside in Uptown business district and different areas. So how cool is that?
Dr. Annie: It’s so cool. I love it. We have such a cool community.
Kristin: Exactly. Yeah. Again, just focusing on what is important and making a difference in the world. For our diaper drive – again, this is the eight year. It’s September 1st to October 1st-ish. Some years, depending on national diaper needs awareness, it might be off a couple days. But we’re able to again make that impact for a whole month versus just doing a drive for a week or a couple of days to really get the energy up, get people who may not have access to drop off diapers. I always offer to pick them up from people if they’re not able to drive to the locations, and we have strategically partnered with businesses that have locations all over the community in West Michigan so you don’t need to drive an hour to drop off diapers.
Dr. Annie: So smart. Love it. We do a special benefit, too, for donations. I think that’s why we collect so many every year. I mean, also because we have great patients, too, but we offer a no charge initial exam at our office if you donate diapers. So basically, any size pack – I mean, we definitely like you to bring as many as you can for a diaper mountain. But that’s usually what it is; family members want to get in and get scanned, but anyone who’s been kind of eyeing our office and wondering – like, wanting to check it out and stuff, our initial exam process is a couple of scans. No radiation. And you get all of that for no charge with the donation of diapers during this month, during the month of September.
Kristin: That is huge. Well, thank you for all the good you’re doing in the world and for your patients. We just appreciate partnering with you so much.
Dr. Annie: We love it. We look forward to this every year.
Kristin: Yeah, and we will be sharing updates. Once this episode comes out, we’ll have show notes with links on all of the locations, all of the information if you happen to be tuning in during the time of the diaper drive. But no worries if you catch this later; there’s always next year.
Dr. Annie: Yeah, we hold on to them every year. Like we said.
Kristin: Exactly. Well, thanks so much, Dr. Annie, and we’ll be chatting soon!
Dr. Annie: I’ll see you soon, Kristin.
Kristin: Before we end this, why don’t you give your social media handles and website. I know we talked about your physical location, but share your social and contact info with our listeners.
Dr. Annie: Sure. We’re on Facebook and Instagram. Both of them are @risewellnesschiro. We’re way more active on Instagram, but I think we share it all to Facebook, too. We’re available on pretty much – if you message us on either of them, we will get it. And then our email address is email@example.com. And our website is Risewellnesschiro.com, so pretty consistent across the board.
Kristin: Awesome. Love it. Thanks again, Annie! Talk to you soon!
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