“Warmth in the Cold”

As has become an annual tradition, President and CEO Mark Cochran and staff of Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union in Lowell recently invited the residents of Megan’s House & Erin’s House to take in a UMass-Lowell Hockey game at the Tsongas Center from the luxurious confines of the lending institution’s corporate suite.

The Megan House Foundation continues to be touched by the kindness exhibited by the folks at JDCU, as they have supported us since before our doors opened to young women in recovery back in 2015. These opportunities to attend recreational and cultural events in our community are an integral part of the recovery process and go a long way toward helping our residents understand that they are loved and that you can enjoy life sober.

One young woman in particular was so moved by the experience she penned a letter to the Foundation and the bank. Her words and appreciation were so moving, we would like to share the letter with you as well. She titled it; “Warmth in the Cold”

“There are different kinds of cold.

One is a dark and lonely cold like the kind I experienced in my addiction.  The other is the kind of cold that I experienced at the UMass Lowell River Hawks hockey game.  The kind of cold where you’re shivering but laughing on your way to a lit up building full of heart.  The kind of cold where you know you’re about to get warm.

Megan’s House allows me to experience this.

Walking into the game, the noise of the music, the lights, the crowd and the excitement in the air brought me back to high school when I was actively forming a promising path to a dream that my disease would tell me I couldn’t live up to.

I covered boys’ high school basketball for my town’s paper for two seasons in high school.  This led me to an internship with the Cape League baseball organization on Cape Cod where I’m from. I was 15 and it was a college-level internship. I got the opportunity to be the team’s photographer.  My crowning moment was an interview with one of my idols, Larry Bird.  I didn’t play sports and I wasn’t a cheerleader—I had found my own niche in athletics where I could build confidence in a skill and enhance my spirit.  The years after these achievements were a spiral into deep depression and addiction.  I didn’t believe in myself.  My past accomplishments only seemed to remind me of how far I’d fallen and convince me I could never get back up.  Now, I’m blessed with opportunities that reassure me of what I’m made of.  Going through that darkness has afforded me acceptance, gratitude, strength and a clearer and more steady vision of what I can obtain with my talents.

I would like to thank the Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union and the staff of UMass Lowell who made the hockey game event possible.  My peers and I got to watch the game in box seats in our own suite.  There was all sorts of delicious food as well as drinks and gift bags given to us by the credit union.  A University staff member gave us a tour of the team’s locker room, weight room and their lounge.  Some of us got to try out the hockey sticks and knock a couple goals into the net in the training room, and one lucky girl got to ride the Zamboni on the ice during the period break.

All of the laughs and smiles on the ride home signaled to me that my heart isn’t the only one getting warmer.

Today, I know I can’t reach my dreams without recovery, and I can’t reach recovery without Megan’s House.  Thank you, Megan’s House!”