New Hampshire non-profit wraps up 2022 with 15 new specialty programs, over 600 families served in the Seacoast, and nearly $200,000 in grants and donations
This year was a successful one for Reach for the Top, a non-profit organization which provides outpatient occupational, physical, and speech therapy services focused on a family-centered model. Under new leadership since 2021, it is the only clinic in the Dover, NH, area offering interdisciplinary trauma-informed and neurodiverse-affirming therapies to children with exceptional needs.
The clinic’s strategic focus for 2022 was to further develop specialty programs – like hippotherapy, aquatic therapy, parent support groups and a new life skills room; invest in therapists’ continued education, create new leadership positions, expand fundraising and push for best practices concerning diversity and inclusion of people with disabilities. And data from the yearly roundup confirms that these goals were indeed met.
Keep reading to know more about all of Reach’s achievements in 2022!
A consolidated mission, record fundraising results and thriving children and families are the top milestones of 2022
One of the key accomplishments of the year was the revision of Reach’s mission and vision under the mantra “Nothing About Us, Without Us”, which expresses the conviction that people with disabilities know what is best for them. This reflects the values of the five women with disabilities that lead the organization, and Reach’s mission now emphasizes tailoring services to the needs voiced by those served, with a focus on empowering the family, and providing trauma-informed, respectful, and affirming therapies, all to ensure the child thrives.
Due to the success of this family-centered mindset, in 2022, the organization gathered several parent testimonials highlighting the positive impact of therapy, including more participation in extracurriculars, the ability to make friendships, developing healthy family routines and relationships, fewer expulsions from school, and lots of growth.
“Starting OT services at Reach was one of the best decisions I ever made for my 6-year-old son. His therapist knew right away how to ease his anxiety about overcoming challenges and creates endless opportunities for him to have fun while working on skills that he has been struggling to master. I, myself have learned how to understand my child better and we’ve formed a deeper connection because of our experiences here.”
And to bring its refreshed mission to life, Reach expanded the platforms and ways of making donations, with the fundraising teams securing five new major donors. As a result, in 2022, Reach received nearly $200,000 in grants and donations to support and develop specialty programs, and to focus on fully developing a workplace culture where everyone can thrive. These funds allowed the organization to increase the number of children and families served to more than 600, and to expand the offer of specialty services to 15 programs.
Agile leadership and continued education were key developments this year
On the human resources front, Reach also achieved notorious developments. Not only did the organization grow its board of directors to nine highly skilled and passionate individuals that are ready to push it forward strategically, it also created additional junior leadership opportunities, bringing more voices and passion to the decision-making table. In 2022, junior leads’ initiative was rewarded with additional paid time off. And to support new-hires as they acclimate to the organization, this year also marked the creation of a new onboarding mentorship program.
Following the leadership changes last year and the updating of Reach’s core mission and vision, the teams worked on alignment and healthy communication using the DISC assessment, which describes four main personality profiles: D is for Dominance, I is for Influence, S is for Steadiness, and C is for Conscientiousness. The goal was to ensure that everyone shares a positive, growth-centered, team-focused mindset and understand differences in communication styles, which is of value when hiring new staff.
Moreover, investment in learning and training for therapists is one of the top priorities for Reach as it ensures that children and families are getting high-quality care, and it allows the therapists to further their passions and skills. In 2022, each therapist took anywhere from 30 to 200 continuing education credits to further develop their skills, and everyone participated in knowledge sharing sessions with the team following completion of the course, sparking new thoughts, strategies, programs, and outcomes. The organization also developed a quality assurance program to provide support to therapists and the administration relating best practices in documentation and overall compliance.
2022 was the year to connect with the community and raise awareness about the inclusion of people with disability
And finally, nobody would know 2022 was a great year for Reach if it weren’t for the organization’s efforts in communications, advocacy and spreading awareness, governance and structure, further supported by consultants Gayle O’Connor from HR-ROI, Christine Strong from Strong Resource Group, and Molly and Maria from GoodWork. The most visible achievement of the year is the design and development of Reach’s new website, which captures and promotes the work that is being done, thanks to collaboration with Kelly at TapHouse Media. Reach’s social media efforts were also more thoroughly developed thanks to a new junior leadership position, focused on community and client relations.
Other initiatives carried out in 2022 include participating in in-house and public events around the topics of therapy and disability. For example, Reach’s Director Amy Rich Crane was part of a local trauma panel with 3 organizations and 2 police departments this year, talking about Reach’s efforts in trauma-informed therapies and spreading awareness of the need for care and support available. Moreover, the organization welcomed nine guest speakers throughout the year to talk about their disabilities, diversity, inclusivity, best practices, and unique ideas for pushing the needle forward with therapy.
Reach also established a new partnership with the University of New Hampshire (UNH), three local schools in Dover, and other non-profits as part of efforts to strengthen the community and spread disability advocacy awareness. The partnership with UNH is in addition to Reach’s collaboration with over 8 graduate schools, of which Reach consistently contributes to the next generation of students learning, which also brings in the latest ideas and research into the clinic with graduates that could later join Reach’s staff.
A growing team and reaching more families are on the horizon for 2023
Next year, Reach aims to further develop the leadership mindset where everyone’s voice is heard, and families also have a say in some of the organization’s decisions. Being a family-centered therapy clinic is the cornerstone of Reach’s identity and it has been proven this is a successful model. One of the key goals for 2023 is to expand hiring and bring on new members to the great team of experts already working in the organization.
Efforts to continue raising funds to offer quality services and additional specialty programs are year-end priorities, as is continuing to strengthen partnerships with local organizations that support Reach’s activity. In the end, all the accomplishments and work behind the scenes is done toward the same objective: that children with exceptional needs thrive when their families are empowered, and their strengths are valued!