Can you really measure impact when your work is deeply personal?

Non-profits often talk about impact, and rightfully so. The need to measure success is good business and provides insight into how programs and services are effective to the mission. 

But it’s the stories, the personal accounts of positive change, that make people FEEL good. That give people HOPE.

However, impact isn’t only realized by those we serve. It’s also felt by our staff, especially the frontline workers who hear and see (virtually) warriors every day. 

Read the words of Hope For The Warriors Regional Social Worker Savannah Boyle, MSW, on the impact HOPE has had on her:

When people ask me what Hope For The Warriors “does” for the post-9/11 veteran and military community, I never respond the same way. My answer is always changing, because HOPE simply isn’t a “cookie cutter” organization. We take a personal approach to the work we do, never forgetting the human aspect to it all.

I often call upon the information we are taught as grad students and new social workers: You meet the client where they are.

HOPE embodies this practice. We meet every service member, veteran and family member exactly where they are in life. While on active duty. As a newly-transitioning veteran or one who has been navigating civilian life for years.

We address challenges from physical injuries and non-visible wounds that come from service. We wrap our arms around the entire military family, because each one of them has sacrificed in service.

We implement the bottom-up hierarchy of life’s needs coined by Abraham Maslow in 1943. Simply put, the post-traumatic growth process cannot begin until one’s baseline physiological and safety needs are met first. 

Post-traumatic growth? Don’t I mean PTSD? … 

HOPE recognizes that the symptoms and impact of silent war injuries, such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), depression, and substance use disorders (SUDs) are very real. However, these diagnoses are not a defining label. Instead, HOPE recognizes the personal growth that can result from a veteran’s adverse combat experiences. HOPE facilitates this growth by truly listening to each individual that comes knocking on our door. 

When I first started with HOPE in 2018, I was encouraged to do my best to meet the unique needs of each individual warrior. Every one of them has a story. Our best service to them is to listen.

Today and every day, we celebrate HOPE’s frontline workers. Our Clinical Health & Wellness team of intakes coordinators, social workers and clinicians walk alongside warriors seeking HOPE. They Keep HOPE Alive for thousands of veterans and military families — one person at a time.