harbin clinic dermatology

Photos Cameron Flaisch

For many people, the Christmas season is a joyous time of year, but for some families it is a hard time, too. To help spread a little extra joy, Harbin Clinic has teamed up with Toys for Tots to provide Christmas gifts for less-fortunate children in Northwest Georgia. Harbin Clinic Dermatology shares how their office helped collect toys and raise funds for the organization.

Healthcare that’s more than skin-deep

Practice Manager Kim Miller and Aesthetician Julie Johnson work with fellow staff members at Harbin Clinic Dermatology to deal with all issues related to skin, hair, and nails; everything from skin cancer to nail infections. They also offer a variety of cosmetic procedures and a full line of high-quality products to rejuvenate skin, giving patients a more youthful appearance.

Asked what she does at work, Johnson (chuckling) says, “I make people pretty.” That’s true, of course, and she and her colleagues do far more than that. They also serve as educators for their patients, teaching them how to protect the health of their skin year-round. Miller and Johnson point out that even in the winter months it’s important to guard against the sun’s harmful rays. They suggest common sense precautions like sunscreen, moisturizers, cleansers, and the wearing of sunglasses, hats, and long sleeves. Also, they urge their patients to be vigilant about hydration.

The professionals at Harbin Clinic Dermatology care about more than people’s skin, hair, and nails; they care deeply about their everyday lives, too. Both Miller and Johnson are enthusiastic supporters of Harbin Clinic’s partnership with Toys for Tots. Miller says, “That’s why from the end of October through the beginning of December we offered a 15% discount on any cosmetic service or on various products for any patient who brings in a gift for Toys for Tots.” Toys and monetary donations are collected at the dermatology office until the good folks from Toys for Tots come to collect them.

Aesthetician Julie Johnson

Great good from modest beginnings

The idea for Toys for Tots began in 1947, when Diane Hendricks gave a few handcrafted dolls to her husband, Bill, and asked him to donate them to some worthy organization that would gift them to children in need. After Bill searched and could not locate such a group in their area, Diane said, “Well, start one!”

So, he did. Bill, a major in the Marine Corps Reserve, enlisted the help of his fellow Marines from his Los Angeles, California, unit. Together they collected and gave away some 5,000 toys that first year. When the Marine Commandant saw what the reservists in LA had done, he was impressed and ordered all Marine Reserve Sites to take part in Major Hendrick’s program. In 1948, after only one year in existence, Toys for Tots went nationwide. 

Since Major Hendricks’ day job was in public relations at Warner Brothers Studios, he had plenty of friends who were executives and celebrities in the entertainment industry. He called on many of them for their help with his new endeavor. One of these friends was none other than Walt Disney himself. Eager to do his part, Mr. Disney provided Toys for Tots’ first marketing poster, which featured Donald Duck decked out in Santa Claus garb and riding on a miniature train loaded with toys. From this, the image of a three-car train was later adopted as the organization’s logo.

Today, Toys for Tots collects approximately eighteen million toys annually and gives them to some seven million children each Christmas, and Harbin Clinic is proud to be part of this wonderful, ever-expanding holiday tradition. As Miller and Johnson see it, the Marine Reserve’s Christmas initiative ties in perfectly with the clinic’s stated mission, which is “to care completely for the health and wellness of every person in the communities we serve.” As Miller puts it, “Harbin Clinic is in the profession of helping people, helping them completely. Toys for Tots fits that mission perfectly.”

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Healthy skin in the new year

One Christmas present people can give to themselves is the gift of healthy skin. Miller and Johnson invite those interested in exploring the many services and products provided by Harbin Clinic Dermatology to contact the practice for a complimentary consultation. The practice can be contacted through the Patient Portal at harbinclinic.com or by calling 762.235.3480. For more information about Toys for Tots, go to toysfortots.org.