I received a letter in the mail several days ago, and both the picture and the message were priceless. It was different than most because I could hear the familiar sound of change shifting inside the letter. We get a lot of mail at Stop Soldier Suicide, but in the 9 months I have been here, I have never gotten mail with “change.” Enclosed, I found the handwritten letter you see below, along with exactly $77.09.
Our role at Stop Soldier Suicide is to mobilize and lead the community of compassionate citizens to help our Veterans and their families. When people ask me what “field” of business I am in, I respond that I am in the business of hope. We are trying to end military-related suicide. Sounds difficult . . . maybe even impossible given the level of research and massive spending from government agencies. But we provide an alternative. We provide hope.
To provide our service, we are in a constant struggle to secure funding. Our client base continues to grow, and we have been receiving a steady stream of new clients each month for the past year. I am often asked about the value of the service we provide from donors and investors. I typically answer with charts, spreadsheets, and graphs with detailed cost projections and demand analysis. But the real answer is that I can’t quantify the value of helping to save a life. I can’t put a price tag on the meaning of connecting a Veteran to programs that help them out from the darkness of despair. How do you value helping another person find purpose for living again? No, I can’t quantify these things with any true accuracy.
But today, I can put a price tag on inspiration.
It costs $77.09 . . . but it’s value is priceless.
A special thank you to Nicholas, Lincoln, and Jacob and their mom, Stephanie, for inspiring all of us at Stop Soldier Suicide to continue working to end the problem of military-related suicide.