The Whuffie Wall

At our Disability Network/Lakeshore office we have a “whuffie wall."  Whuffie is a term coined by Tara Hunt in her book, ”The Whuffie Factor.”   The term, as I understand it, represents how an organization and the work they do is perceived in a positive manner by the public.  Our whuffie wall is a place we can post reminders of the successful work we’ve done.


I just posted something on the whuffie wall: a person I’ve been working with was awarded Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) benefits.  While it may not sound like a big deal, to that person it is monumental!  It means having a home to live in rather than living on the street.

As I posted my marker, I was struck by how fortunate I am to work here.  My co-workers are awesome, and believe me no one is paying me to say that!   I thought about how much each person here is a part of that success. 

I’m Chris, and I do the in-depth interview of the people applying for assistance under the SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery (SOAR) program.  But Bree, our Information and Referral person did the initial interview.  Karon, the Administrative Assistant, stood at the copier seemingly forever and ran off copies of the medical records that had to be submitted.  Patti, a DN/L volunteer, answered the phones while Karon made copies.  Ronda, our Outreach Specialist, picked up the slack when I was frantically trying to complete the report I had to submit.  Lucia, Community Access Specialist, helped me stay focused when I got bogged down in my writing.  Carrie, our Disability Guide worker proof-read the final report and offered suggestions for how to tighten it up.  And Susan acted as my personal cheerleader whenever things got overwhelming!

Rick, Todd and Stacey provide support in a way that’s strange to most organizations: by supporting us when we fail.  No, that’s not something any of us wants, but when we do hit a wall they put the focus on what we can learn from the experience.  Then they pick us up, dust us off and send us on our way again. 

As I said, it’s a pretty awesome place to work, and the whuffie wall is a way of reminding us not only of our individual successes, but of the teamwork it takes to get there.

Guest Blogger: Chris Wistrom