Safe + Sound Blog

Measuring Volunteer Impact (Is this even possible?)

By Deanna Keller,
Volunteer Coordinator


In celebration of National Volunteer Month, I would like to share a few thoughts and examples of the wonderful things that I get to see happen every day working with volunteers. We are extremely grateful for these volunteers, whose dedication and commitment bring safety, hope and healing to survivors of domestic abuse throughout the year.

In 2019, 203 individuals provided a total of 8,991 hours of their time – valued at $228,641 – to empower survivors of domestic abuse and engage the community to end violence once and for all. In addition, our DVRT volunteers provided 15,567 on-call hours


See Also: 2018 Annual Report


Acting as our front line and often the first interaction with clients, the effects of front desk and Hotline volunteers with their friendly faces and voices are immeasurable. These kind souls answer calls, greet clients arriving for counseling appointments, employ security protocols. Front desk and Hotline volunteers coordinate these critical functions to the organization, while ensuring that new and returning clients are put at ease and feel welcome and safe at Safe+Sound Somerset.

Thanks to Neuberger Berman and Bloomberg L.P. employee volunteers, our outside reflects the help and hope inside. These dear friends have been coming by each year to plant and clean up the landscaping at our Outreach office in the Spring and Fall. Their work helps impacts the spirits of all who enter our doors by helping us present a welcoming appearance.

Volunteer Anthony, has taken on the transport, loading and unloading of pantry donations from Shop-Rite and Costco twice weekly. His incredibly generous gift of time and energy makes it possible for us to maintain our pantry of food and household supplies to distribute valuable donations to survivors. For many, these donations are important staples in the feeding their families and meeting other household needs.

Rounding out the offerings of our pantry, Duke Farms Community Gardeners drop-off loads of fresh produce (and cut wildflowers) weekly between June and October. Clients arriving for counseling appointments are greeted by the bright, beautiful colors and aromas of a free farm stand, thanks to these gardening angels. This fresh produce is appreciated as a supplement to the packaged and canned goods offered. There have been fun weeks of sharing recipes and ideas for the more exotic squashes coming through the doors.

Hillsborough High School volunteers organize the donations of food, diapers, school supplies, and a myriad of other items on a weekly basis. Without the help of these young volunteers, we would not have the capacity to effectively store and distribute all of the donations we receive.

Rounding out this list are the members of our Board of Trustees who volunteer their time, expertise and resources, and act as stewards of our organization. Often the most difficult and most “invisible” volunteer position, trustees take on their governance and fiduciary responsibilities with dedication, passion and grace and to help fulfill the mission of Safe+Sound Somerset.

In writing this, it became clear to me that the dollar value assigned to volunteer time seems quite arbitrary and woefully insufficient. The compassion that volunteers bring, as well as the synergy of their efforts, is far beyond any amount of money that we can point to.

Many of these fine folks may never meet, nonetheless, they work together every single day, lifting hearts, minds, spirits and lives. It is my great honor and an absolute pleasure to work alongside these extraordinary angels. Thank you, volunteers – we couldn’t have done it without you!



P.S. Look for our social media posts throughout April for additional examples of volunteers contributions to S+SS’s program and support of survivors in 2019.