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After struggle with taxes, Allenstown mom swamped with donations

  • Angelique Holm at her home in Allenstown with her German Shepherd, Bosco, on Monday, Sept. 11, 2017. “There has been so much response from community members. People have just been coming by my house. And sending cards in the mail – with money. I’m speechless,” she said. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

  • Angelique Holm at her home in Allenstown with her German Shepherd, Bosco, on Monday, Sept. 11, 2017. “There has been so much response from community members. People have just been coming by my house. And sending cards in the mail – with money. I’m speechless,” she said after people have come forward to help pay her back taxes. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Angelique Holm gets some loving from her German Shepherd, Bosco, at her home in Allenstown on Monday, Sept. 11, 2017. “There has been so much response from community members. People have just been coming by my house. And sending cards in the mail – with money. I’m speechless,” she said after people have come forward to help pay her back taxes. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff



Monitor staff
Wednesday, September 13, 2017

After struggling for months with mounting property-tax bills, Angelique Holm has been swamped with help.
People at the Allenstown elementary school banded together to get her three daughters back-to-school supplies. Churchgoers at Grace Capital in Pembroke dropped of collected clothes, money and Market Basket gift cards. A Weare couple paid more than $2,000 toward her back taxes.

“There has been so much response from community members. People have just been coming by my house. And sending cards in the mail – with money. I’m speechless,” she said.

Holm’s story appeared in the Monitor a month ago after selectmen rejected her request to pay her back taxes in monthly installments.

Representatives from U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s office also reached out, connecting Holm to an attorney to educate her about her rights. New Hampshire Legal Assistance sent Holm a letter.

The deluge in donations and offers to help have been welcome, but also overwhelming, Holm said.

“I’m a little bit slow on it,” she said. “This week was my week to get back to everybody.”

Yvonne Lovell, a Pembroke resident and a member of Grace Capital, said she put out a blast on her personal Facebook page as well as the church’s. She collected food cards, money and clothes.

“Angelique was in need, and we gathered together and just helped her. That’s what life is about,” she said.

Michael Barkasy and his wife, Shirley, went to the Allenstown town offices on Aug. 21 and paid off $2,344 from Holm’s back taxes. She still owes money, but will have until 2019 to make good with the town before they can take action to deed her property.

Barkasy, a retired sales executive and engineer, said he was at home with “too much time on his hands” listening to the news and feeling sad about the state of things. He said he prayed for a sign for something productive he could do and soon after, he read the Monitor’s article about Holm. The couple also attends Grace Capital, and his wife had heard through the church community about Holm.

“God gets the credit, really,” he said.

Barkasy said he frequently gives to those in need. It makes him happy.

“Most of the time we get depressed; we get depressed because it’s all about ourselves,” he said.

Holm said her troubles spiraled, when, reeling from the death of her parents and dealing with a succession of traumas, she isolated herself from the world. She said she stopped socializing, going to school events – and ignored a series of increasingly alarming notices from the town.

“Situations like this are avoidable if you just communicate,” she said. “I’m my own worst enemy, in that sense.”

Holm recalled trying to comfort her daughters when they would fight with their friends or deal with a bully at school. She said she always tried to tell them that people, fundamentally at least, are good. But her heart wasn’t in it.

“I think they saw that I was lying and faking it. And lately I’ve been able to say people have good intentions and are honorable. And they know that I mean it,” she said.

It was a difficult summer, Holm said. But she’s optimistic about the future.

“We’re having a beautiful fall,” she said.

(Lola Duffort can be reached at 369-3321 or lduffort@cmonitor.com.)