Some people go the extra mile, and Parent Talk would like to recognize two of our extra milers! This year’s Volunteer of the Year recognition is shared by Laura Perras and Meghann Freni. We first shine this week’s blog entry on Laura! Stay tuned for an upcoming post on Meghann.
While friends might call Laura Perras fun, outgoing and friendly, and clients might find in her a local realtor who does a great job with the buying and selling of a home, Laura describes herself as a “total music nerd” who has been an “underground edm dj for almost 20 years.” She spins house, techno, drum n bass, breaks, downtempo and bass genres while also producing techno and house music. You may not have moved lately or have been lucky enough to see Laura’s musical talents in action, but there’s a good chance that you have run come across Laura at some point of your Parent Talk experience over the last two years.
Maybe it was reading Laura’s posts on the Parent Talk Matters Blog, where she could probably win another award for being such an entertaining and humorous blogger. “I take my own experiences, successes and failures, and the info I’ve found and try to simplify and condense it into something that’s also entertaining to read,” she says. “At trying times, I’ve really gotten a lot of relief from brutally honest, humorous parenting blogs like Scary Mommy, and I hope that along with sharing some good tips I can provide a little humor as well. I think everything seems to get a little easier when we don’t take it too seriously.”
Aside from blogging, she also helps maintain and update Parent Talk’s Facebook page as one of PT’s Marketing Co-Chairs. Or you may have met Laura at any number of Parent Talk events.
It’s Laura’s can-do attitude, her reliability, and her contribution to so many aspects of Parent Talk that have made her such an invaluable member of Parent Talk. She’s a Most Valuable Player — an MVP and a no-brainer when it came to candidates for Parent Talk’s Volunteer of the Year. From lending a hand for a few hours at each event like Flicks on the Field, Parent Talk’s New Member Playdate, Winter Marketplace, and many more involved hours as a member of the Sales Committee, to sharing her personal research on parenting questions as blog coordinator and her commitment in her current position as Co-Chair of Marketing on the PT Board, Laura is a remarkable volunteer! And she does it all with humor and grace. We applaud and appreciate all of her efforts to help make Parent Talk resources available to all members.
Laura first got involved in Parent Talk after moving from New York City with her daughter, Violet (age 4), back to the area where she grew up. As a William Raveis realtor in Brookline, she helped open an office for her firm in Needham, and now practices out of both locations. She also tried to find a robust online mom’s forum, similar to what she had in NYC. Parent Talk was the answer.
She first volunteered at Flicks on the Field and came back for more by joining the Sale Committee. She says she loves the fast pace of the Sale, meeting great people, and getting amazing deals. But the best part for her comes at the end of the Sale, after buyers have already swept through in the first few hours of sometimes frantic shopping that includes the Bag Sale. One of her favorite Parent Talk volunteer experiences was assisting a charity in collecting leftover Sale items for use for their members and clients.
Another of Laura’s memorable volunteer experiences has been donating to Project NightNight, an organization that collects bags, including a blanket, soft toy and book for children staying in shelters. She says, “One of my favorite things about Parent Talk is that there are opportunities to volunteer with our kids. I did a lot of volunteer work with my mother growing up (not all of it willingly, I admit) and it definitely shaped who I am.” She and daughter Violet put together a bag with an emoji pillow and book about Rad Women for an older child.
Asked what she might say to members who have not yet volunteered with Parent Talk, she advises, “You’re missing out! Every time I go to a Parent Talk event, I leave inspired and energized. I not only get to connect with other parents and relate our parenting experiences, but I also get to remember what it’s like to be myself, a person, apart from being a mom. And I think we can all agree most parents could use a little more of that.”
About the Author:
Darlene W. Cancell first volunteered for Parent Talk at its biannual Used Toy, Clothing and Equipment Sale. She followed that with a stint as PT’s Blog Coordinator and currently is enjoying her role on the Board as Volunteer Chair. She hopes she can help make volunteering with Parent Talk even more fun, convenient and rewarding. If you have any suggestions, comments or questions about volunteering, please email her at email@example.com.