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The Big Little Things

In the blink of an eye, Terri-Anne's life took a hairpin turn and stability became uncertainty. But that's not the end of her story. Not even close.

Ten years ago, Terri-Anne’s life was going well. It wasn’t easy - she was, after all, a single mom raising two kids and working two jobs. But things were stable and life was good. She was renting a house and raising her family in southern New Hampshire.

And then her roommate left and paying the rent became a burden. Thankfully, Terri-Anne’s mother was able to help, and she was just barely staying afloat. But then, tragedy struck: Terri-Anne’s mother died suddenly shortly thereafter and Terri-Anne’s life was turned completely upside down.

“I was suddenly packing up my house with nowhere to go,” she says. “I couldn’t afford market rent. But I knew what I needed to do to help my kids and get housing.”

And what was that? Finding her way to Seacoast Family Promise.

“When I got there, I was a mess,” she says. “I was in a fog. I had just lost my mom, my best friend. But they were caring and opened their arms to help, and I had a sense that things were going to be okay.”

For Terri-Anne, it was all about maintaining as much of a sense of normalcy she could in an abnormal situation. That meant focusing on life’s details. Like making sure there was always clean laundry. Or keeping her two sons connected to basketball and football.

“When you’ve lost everything, it’s the little things that are so important,” she says.

Since Terri-Anne left Seacoast Family Promise she has charted a new direction for her life. She has found stable housing and is in school, poised to graduate in May with a degree in Public Health. She became a foster parent during the height of the pandemic (“I had to give back,” she says). She volunteers with Family Promise of Southern New Hampshire, working directly with new families and offering much-needed perspective during the toughest times of their lives.

“I tell them that there’s light at the end of the tunnel and there is hope and you will get through this, and you will be okay.”

Things will be okay.

Terri-Anne felt that once during the worst time of her life. But she persevered. She found strength within herself and found support from Seacoast Family Promise and the community-at-large. Now, a new life beckons, And though it was the little things that got her through the darkest time in her life, the future holds something different:

“Bigger things are coming,” she says. “I’m not done yet."


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