Seacoast Family Promise Builds Social Captital

There is a type of collaborative, spontaneously
generated giving that strengthens communities by
connecting diverse individuals and organizations
through civic engagement initiatives, creating what is
termed “social capital.” At Seacoast Family Promise, we
believe in a nation where individuals are strongly
connected to their neighbors and play an active role in

Linda Sherouse of North Hampton UCC, 2009 Volunteer of the Year

shaping the destiny of their communities. This increase
in ‘social capital’ results in communities that are safer,
healthier and more vital.
Seacoast Family Promise is, to this writer, the epitome
of the definition of social capital: A network of loving,
caring individuals who give of themselves, donating
goods, services, talents, time, and expertise to ensure the
safety of families with children and create a community
built on the concept of love for our fellow human
beings. The beauty of all of this spontaneous giving is
that it not only benefits the recipients, but research
shows that it benefits the givers as well.

As Wayne Dyer points out, the “… beneficial effects of kindness on the immune system and the increased production of serotonin have been proven. Conversely, unkindness weakens the body and puts us into a state of dissonance. So extend acts of kindness; ask for nothing in return.”

Over the past fours years, as director of the Seacoast
Interfaith Hospitality Network, I have increasingly
become aware of the goodness in people, all people,
ranging from the guests served by this organization to
congregational leaders and volunteers and the general
public at large. I have seen their generosity grow, its
effects radiating out from our small day center in
Stratham through the many lives our program touches.
Recent reports have indicated that New Hampshire is
one of the healthiest states in the country, and I can see
why: The serotonin levels in the Seacoast must be off
the charts! From where I sit, I can feel the abundance of
social capital that has increased through the
spontaneous good works of hundreds of individuals,
businesses, organizations, and faith communities all
across the Seacoast. So let’s keep the kindness flowing –
– and build a stronger, more caring community for all.

-Pati Frew-Waters

Executive Director, Seacoast Family Promise

Find out how YOU or your organization can make a difference at:


About seacoastfamilypromise

The mission of SFP is to empower families experiencing homelessness to achieve lasting self-sufficiency.
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