Michael Burton has extensive experience in management, sales and marketing. Burton owns and operates Burton Business Services, which provides consulting services, marketing assistance, and project management to businesses and nonprofit organizations.  He is also a partner in OandP Staffing, LLC, providing expert assistance with O&P careers.  Burton is a member of the Industry Advisory Council for O&P Business News and is President of the Orthotic and Prosthetic Activities Foundation. He also serves on the board of directors for The Center for O&P Learning & Evidence-Based Practice. Burton is a frequent speaker at colleges with O&P programs, as well as continuing education conferences. He focuses his blog on the business of O&P with a wide range of topics from marketing, human resources, health care reform and the latest business changes to impact O&P.

It’s the holiday season!

For many of us, these words bring the sound of music into our minds. Even as I wrote this I could hear the music, but could not remember who wrote the song. So I did what most of us would do and Googled, “It’s the Holiday Season”. I discovered that Andy Williams first recorded this song during the 1960s. His original version is just as relevant today as it was 50 years ago and you can still hear it on the radio this time of year.

Most of us are busy now buying gifts for family and friends. Giving gifts is still as much a part of our lives as it was 50 years ago. Many of us are also giving thought to making financial gifts to charities of our choice. Our government provides a financial incentive for us to make charitable contributions or gifts by allowing deductions from our taxes. Although many of us have our favorite charities that we contribute to regularly, it is important to remember our obligation to give back to the profession that has made it possible for us to earn a living.

I had a very nice debate with Jim Russ recently about whether O&P is a profession or an industry. In the end we determined that it is both. If the O&P profession, or industry, provides you with an income, please consider making a financial gift to one of the charities that serves our profession. Although I serve as the president of an O&P non-profit association, do consulting work for another, and serve on the board of directors for a third, I am not going to suggest which O&P non-profit association you should support. However, I am strongly suggesting that you support at least one. Regardless of whether you are in a position to make a gift of several thousand dollars or as little as $5, your gift can make a difference to those serving the profession that allows you to earn a living.

Please consider making a gift to an O&P non-profit before the end of the year. You will earn a nice tax break and your gift will help a worthy organization continue with their mission. After all, it’s the holiday season!

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