Parent Talk Celebrates Our Super Volunteers, Part 2

Parent Talk is happy to honor Meghann Freni and Laura Perras as recipients of our Volunteer of the Year service award.  On December 27th, we celebrated with a blog post on Laura, and today, we follow up with a post on Meghann!
Spotlight on Meghann Freni, Volunteer of the Year

Meghann Freni is someone who seems to like getting off to a running start, judging from her habit of diving headfirst into each new volunteer experience with Parent Talk! 

Meghann is wife to Jon and mom to Ryan, Colin and Nora (ages 5, 3 and 1, respectively). She shares the Volunteer of the Year title with Laura Perras because of her remarkable willingness and courage to jump in and lend a hand, and leadership, when needed.


After giving birth to Ryan in 2012, Meghann left her Human Resources job in Boston to become a stay-at-home mom.  She moved with her young family back to her hometown of Needham.  Once in Needham, she joined a Parent Talk playgroup.

When Ryan turned 4, Meghann had her first real volunteer experience with Parent Talk.  She became Co-Chair for Parent Talk’s Preschool and Kindergarten Fair in 2016.  She quickly followed that experience by once again, stepping in as Co-Chair, this time for the annual Summer Camp Fair in 2017.  Meghann explains, “I had friends who were involved with Parent Talk [who] really enjoyed their volunteer experiences, so they encouraged me to get more involved and I’m so glad I did!”

In chairing each event, Meghann’s responsibilities included reaching out to schools, enrichment programs and camps to invite them to attend and purchase a table at either of the two fairs.  “From there, it was logistics such as set-up, materials needed for the event, and of course, the [Preschool Fair and Camp Fair] booklet[s]!”

While learning the ropes from the bottom up may be the preferred way many of us get started on a new adventure, a lack of past experiences appears not to have posed any constraint on Meghann!  Consider that freshly off of her second Parent Talk volunteer experience of co-chairing the Summer Camp Fair, Meghann neatly stepped into her current Board role as Parent Talk’s Fundraising Co-Chair. 

Meghann has continued her involvement in Parent Talk because of what she views as the rewards of volunteering — getting involved, making friends, and gaining a sense of community.  Of her experiences with the Preschool Fair and Camp Fair, Meghann says,  “I was able to see both events from start to finish.  It was great to see how families got a lot out of both events and I enjoyed the planning process and meeting new families and Parent Talk members.  By volunteering, you are helping to promote a sense of community, which in turn helps those who are new to the area or those who are looking to find something new within our community.”

Thank you, Meghann, for all you do to make great events and programming possible for the entire Parent Talk community!
Are you thinking of volunteering or filling a leadership role for the first time? Perhaps take a page from Meghann’s book and jump right in, learning trial by fire!  If that’s not your cup of tea, keep in mind that beginning your involvement with Parent Talk can be as easy as clicking on the next Sign Up Genius link that you see, and filling a one-hour volunteer slot!  Volunteer opportunities are announced in Parent Talk’s weekly  e-newsletter and Yahoo Groups discussions.  They are often also announced on our Facebook page and website.  Keep your eyes peeled for an opportunity!

About the Author:

Darlene W. Cancell first volunteered for Parent Talk at its biannual Used Toy, Clothing and Equipment Sale.  She followed that with at 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


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