Tampa Bless presents Team Do Good's next featured member and honoree: Teresa Miller
Updated: Jul 19, 2021
It is with pride and joy I present to you the next member of Team Do Good, the mighty Teresa Miller. I am absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to celebrate Teresa here via Tampa Bless and Team Do Good. Her willingness to participate in this feature and to provide feedback is highly appreciated. And now, without further ado...
Name: Teresa McAndrew Miller
Place of birth: Ft. Lee, Virginia
Currently reside: Tampa, Florida
Family: Married to R. Ashley Miller for 37 years, three sons - Daniel, Patrick, Michael ages 30-33, two dogs - Lucy (pictured above) & Murphy
Alma Mater: High School: St. Pius X, Atlanta, GA; Undergraduate: GA Tech; Masters: USF
Occupation: Community Pro-Life Advocate specializing in Pro-Life Activities and Drug Abuse Prevention Education. Create and maintain websites with resources and educational information on the above topics.
Activities you organized or participate in related to helping others and uplifting humanity? I realize this is an uncomfortable question to answer because it feels self-promotional, yet it's important to share so to inspire others:
Some of the activities I participate in include weekly praying at the abortion mill. I feel as though I might be the ‘sign’ someone is looking for to turn around, go home, and seek alternative help. Typically, there are other people at the mill talking one-on-one with the abortion-minded people, so I don’t often interact but am certainly willing to help when needed. I volunteered for the first 5 years at the Catholic Charities Pregnancy Center before focusing on getting a master’s degree in mental health counseling to better understand addiction. I still support Catholic Charities and Guiding Star by attending walks, making small donations, and attending their other events. They are both great organizations that truly serve the women and families in our community who feel hopeless and lost.
I attend a great deal of community events involving drug prevention: bi-annual Drug Take-Back Day, Hillsborough Anti-Drug Alliance meetings (on the board), Tampa Alcohol Coalition & Marijuana Task Force meetings, and many health fairs, especially at UT and USF. I also help coordinate the Drug Summit (with Drug Free America & HCADA) and Faith-Based Drug Prevention Summit. Recently, I have been a speaker at meetings on the topic of recovery from the family’s perspective.
The Tampa Bless 12
1) Favorite pastime or hobby? Why? Please explain.
1. Developing & maintaining websites for nonprofits. I learned how to use open source software for my websites, and I like the challenge of learning and adding new features. Most non-profits cannot afford what developers charge and/or a developer leaves and the website is abandoned. The software I use is not a custom program and allows other people to post some information if desired.
2. Family pool volleyball with a beach ball. Lots of fun and laughter and believe it or not good exercise. AND playing cards. Our family has always played cards… a great pastime!
2) Favorite sport, team, or player? If not into sports, your favorite musician or album? Or answer one of each if you’d like or any combo. Please explain why for any one or more of the questions you answered.
College basketball besides the GA Tech Yellow Jackets, I have always admired Coach Krzyzewski of the Duke Blue Devils. He seems to be an excellent mentor for the young men who have the opportunity to play basketball at Duke. Coach K appears to make academics a priority and expects his players to be leaders on campus. In general, not much of a sports fan except when my sons were in Little League.
3) Favorite movie? Why? Please explain.
Enjoy movies about true life events or people because they are inspiring and educational. Also, some comedies e.g., Starsky & Hutch, Meet the Parents, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Romancing the Stone (oldy but goody), and Casablanca.
4) Favorite place (country, city, town, etc…) you have visited and why?
I do not really have one special place - Have enjoyed the hustle and bustle of New York City on trips with my family; Medjugorje for its beauty, peacefulness, lots of time for reflection, and delicious food. And, cruises because I loved the family & friend time and have many good memories from all of our trips.
5) Last meal? You could have anything, what is it? Why? Please explain.
Steak and lobster with one of my son Patrick’s homemade soups, a big salad, a homemade chocolate chip cookie, and a scoop of dark chocolate ice cream. I am hungry just thinking about this meal and know I would be stuffed.
6) Three activities or routines you would highly recommend? Please explain your reasoning for each.
1. Attending daily mass. Mass brings peace to my life, it reminds me of what is important, and it helps me prioritize and/or refocus my plans trying to do God’s work.
2. Meals with family. Now that my sons are older, we all enjoy cooking together. Our family enjoys watching cooking shows so we like to try new recipes and make improvements. After dinner, we often sit for an hour talking about our days and memories of times when the boys were younger. Also, finding out some things we didn’t know about!
3. Ask God to help you with your mission in life… it may change as you get older (more mature). It may surprise you to realize the talents and skills God has been providing you with to give you the strength to say ‘yes’ to something you never thought you could do. As my sons were preparing to graduate from high school, I asked God what He wanted me to do next with my life. He told me, “Be patient. I will let you know.” Two and a half years later one of my sons developed a severe Rx drug addiction. Although my dad was an alcoholic, I still was not prepared for what we needed to do… I started doing research, making phone calls, and developing a game plan. I also began a website to help others (and to organize myself). And I asked people to pray for our family and told them why. God put on my heart I needed to be a voice for families to hear to help prevent the spread of addiction.
7) A) Personality trait you highly value? Why? Please explain. B) The personality trait you highly dislike? Why? Please explain.
A. Humility is a trait I highly value especially when someone in the world’s eyes is so successful yet can remain so humble and often praises God.
B. I guess the most disliked trait would have to be the opposite of humility - pride. Having pride is truly a lack of appreciation for God and all He has done in our lives. When I catch myself starting to be prideful I try to stop and remind myself that it was God and the people He put in my life that have helped me to accomplish the mission He planned for me. Helping me to stay on track is one of the reasons I attend daily mass.
8) Favorite thinker (author, philosopher, theologian, etc…)? Why? Please explain. And what is your favorite piece of advice, quote, or text from them or in general? Why? Please explain.
Honestly, I really do not have a single favorite author, philosopher, or theologian. If I need a quote I typically look to the Bible. Luke 12:51-53 is the Bible verse that I rely on at this time in my life with respect to all the turmoil going on in the world: "Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. From now on a household of five will be divided, three against two and two against three; a father will be divided against his son and a son against his father, a mother against her daughter and a daughter against her mother, a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.” This speaks to me. Jesus didn’t come to make people feel comfortable but to challenge us and encourage us to speak the truth even during difficult circumstances.
9) Biggest influence in your life or a top one, and what was it about them that really stood out?
Besides God, who I have always prayed to and asked for help even at a young age, I would have to say my husband. Not to sound cliché but he has always supported me, whether as a stay at home mom, community volunteer, advocate for life, or on my legislative trips… without him I could not have accomplished God’s mission in my life. I know it was God who introduced us one night at Ga Tech. Our paths had crossed many times but it was in God’s timing that we officially met… and basically the rest is history.
10) If there is one thing you could change in the world, what would it be?
The impact of social media and its ability to circumvent the truth. And, the fact that people seem to have lost the ability to critically think. For example, the legalization of marijuana without or should I say against medical research and advice. This breaks my heart that so many people truly believe this is a miracle drug when nothing could be further from the truth but I won’t get on my soapbox.
11) Where did your desire to help others and uplift humanity come from? Please explain.
I think part of it must be innate. In later years after my dad retired from the Army, he volunteered at MacDill AFB for several different offices - the library, gym, and optical. And, with me for 10 years doing Meals on Wheels in Tampa. I have always been a person to volunteer and help whether it is in a grocery store or more formally at the pregnancy center as a mentor. God often gives us opportunities to help others, it is a matter of us responding with a yes or turning away.
12) What are you working on now and how can people get involved?
My two areas of focus are resources for Drug Abuse (StopRxDrugAbuse.org) and other Life Issues (EmbraceLife911.org).
The StopRx website has information to help families better understand addiction and recovery with national and community resources. Most recently, I added a brochure, “Eyedentify Signs of Abuse,” because it is hard to identify abuse or addiction of any kind if you don’t know what to look for. Hopefully, the brochure and website help people identify abuse before addiction engulfs a family’s life.
The EmbraceLife911 website has information on resources from abortion recovery to legislation action items. Currently, I am working on distributing a ‘Pro-Life' Voter's Guide for Hillsborough County that includes everyone on the ballot especially Judges who cannot state they are pro-life have been vetted. Many people do not realize in the primary election if a judge wins 50% of the vote, he/she is elected. Primaries are particularly important for judicial races. I also created a brochure that contains all the Pro-Life pregnancy centers in the Tampa Bay Area to distribute at the abortion clinics.
Everywhere I go I carry ‘business cards’ that have a flyer’s worth of information. God is always putting someone in my path who might need a good resource to bring hope to their family or life situation.
Thank you so much for your time Teresa and for all that you do. The place we live in is that much better because of you. I hope that this feature has served to inspire you, as well as successfully celebrate those that help others and uplift humanity.
If you like, please subscribe below to the Tampa Bless blog and be on the lookout for the next featured member of Team Do Good as well as check out Team Do Good's new tee which is available right here at tampabless.com/shop-1! This is a great opportunity to not only represent your own desire to help others and uplift humanity but to celebrate the people in your community that do so as well. Let's go! May God bless y'all and thank you for your support. Much love and appreciation.