The volunteer community at Hope For The Warriors is a group of individuals that we hold close to our hearts. These volunteers step up to donate their time, talents, and treasure to our organization, allowing us to continue meeting the needs of our nation’s heroes and their families. But what drives these selfless individuals to HOPE? For some, it’s their commitment and relation to the military community, and for others, it’s simply the desire to use their skills to make a true and lasting impact. But for Andrea Viglione, it was all that and more.
As the child of a Vietnam veteran, Andrea experienced firsthand the effects of combat on both veterans and their family members. Sitting in the waiting room before an appointment one day, Andrea found a magazine article featuring HOPE’s President, CEO, and co-founder Robin Kelleher. Andrea felt compelled to reach out to take a deeper dive into understanding how the organization served military families.
After learning about HOPE’s mission, holistic approach to well-being, programs and services
that focus on the whole family, and the acknowledgment of the struggles military caregivers
face, Andrea was sold.”
“What I like best about HOPE’s approach is that it isn’t a ‘one and done,'” said Andrea. “HOPE works with the family unit, largely ignored by other organizations, and addresses the emotional
toll on everyone.”
As a volunteer, she first helped to raise support for veteran programs; then, with her Master’s degree in nutrition, she taught wellness workshops to the staff members who work on the frontline with military families.
Through spending time with these military families, Andrea found that the biggest challenges they currently face are emotional health and well-being. She points out that post-9/11 service members were sent on multiple tours overseas, sometimes within short periods, without a chance to recover from the trauma they experienced before they suffered the next event. This has caused damage in a way that veterans of previous wars didn’t experience.
But Andrea is optimistic. While she admits that the needs of veterans and their families will never go away until war itself goes away, she feels the steps we can each take to help will make a real difference.
“What we can do now is help people on an individual basis to heal their unique challenges and through HOPE, veterans have a support system, a companion, and a friend,” said Andrea.
When it comes to charitable giving, Andrea and her husband Dan feel confident HOPE is using their gifts wisely. Through research, they discovered HOPE was given a four-star rating with Charity Navigator, the highest rating available for non-profit organizations, which gives them the confidence they need to remain involved.
Thank you, Andrea and Dan, for your consistent generosity to our organization! Because of you, we can continue fulfilling our mission and provide our warrior community with programs and services that change lives.
“Good stewardship is something we never worry about with HOPE,” said Andrea. “I don’t expect complex problems like emotional well-being to be solved overnight. Healing takes time, and it involves the whole family and community. But I know our support will help someone get the help they need, which makes me feel good.”