Allenstown, N.H. – John Murphy is a humble man.
He was featured as a weekly “Hometown Hero” in the June 19 issue of the Concord Monitor, and when asked how that made him feel, he barely hesitated.
“Embarrassed,” he said.
Murphy, 67, is the Board Secretary of Bear View Crossing Cooperative in Allenstown, N.H., a 304-home resident owned community that homeowners purchased for $18 million in July 2019.
ROC-NH, a program of the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund, provides technical assistance to Bear View Crossing as a ROC USA® Certified Technical Assistance Provider.
He has lived there since 1988, after he moved to New Hampshire from Massachusetts. He spent 30 years working for fast food chains, including McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s and the other 20 years manufacturing anti-freeze. He is hardwired for service and physical labor, and when he’s not helping his wife, who had two hip replacement surgeries and suffered a brain aneurism nearly 10 years ago, he is helping his ROC.
He organizes volunteers in the cooperative to tackle projects like installing speedbumps, removing timbers from a playground, and checking on neighbors.
“When we started organizing volunteers, back in 2022, we had three,” Murphy said. “Now we have 18 volunteers. It’s fun. I communicate what we need to do, the time we need to do it and people show up and we do it. It’s more fun to get together and do it together and it seems to have brought the community together.”
In 1983, when he lived in Massachusetts, he came home after visiting his parents on Christmas and the apartment complex behind his home was on fire. The next morning, he called the American Red Cross to offer help. He asked how many people he could feed.
“We donated Egg McMuffins and orange juice for 146 people,” he said. “They lost everything they owned on Christmas, and it just seemed like the right thing to do at the time. People say I do a lot, but it doesn’t seem like I do. I just do what I think needs to be done.”