Self-proclaimed “domestic goddess” Megan Duncan is passing down a long tradition of caring for her community to her daughter the best way she knows how: together.
Duncan became a young mother to twins at the age of 22, but the tragedy that led to the loss of baby Alec left his twin, Austin, with severe brain damage. Austin’s condition required full-time care until he passed away at age 11, shortly after Duncan’s daughter was born.
“I know how short life is and I know how important it is to have people support you,” Duncan said. “Which is why I enjoy helping others in any way I can.”
These heartbreaks and hardships put a life into perspective in a familiar way.
“I have a very strong will to survive anything,” Duncan said. “I have not let unfortunate circumstances sour my heart.”
This will to survive was shaped by Duncan’s relationships with her mother and her grandmother.
“My mother always knew what she wanted to do,” Duncan said of the powerful woman who is a proud breast cancer survivor. “She went to school and became one of the best neo-natal intensive care unit nurses in this area.”
“Her mom has been gone for eight years,” Duncan continued, “but she loved me completely – even through my 90s ‘big hair’ phase.”
This kind of love can hold a person together through their weakest moments, and when that power spreads through a community, every person is made stronger.
“We all need that person in our life,” Duncan said of her grandmother, Viola Berdine. “We should strive to be that person for others.”
Duncan has a long record of being “that person” for her children, and a tradition was established on her daughter’s 4th birthday.
“We save change all year long, and on her birthday, we donate the money” to local causes benefiting animals, children and veterans, Duncan said. “I want her know that when she can help someone, she should.”
Duncan loves all the community has to offer, from trivia nights to Shakespeare in the Park.
She and her daughter patronize local treasures because, as Duncan says, “I feel it opens up more opportunities for mom and pop places to thrive. I enjoy giving my business to people who worked hard to make their dream happen.”
The moral of Duncan’s story is this: helping others and supporting their goals gives them a sense of confidence and drives them to be better humans.
If you’d like to get started improving your community, start with yourself. Heed Duncan’s wisdom: slow down and enjoy the journey.