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Volunteer Spotlight – Lauren Terry & Her Clowder of Cats

February 12, 2016

“I’m so grateful that you wanted to interview me!” beamed Lauren Terry over the phone. “There are so many awesome volunteers at Phinney’s. I’m honored to have been selected for a newsletter article.”

Indeed, Phinney’s volunteers are awesome, and Lauren Terry is at the top of the awesome list. Lauren is Phinney’s Foster Manager, which means it’s her job to find foster homes for our pets when their owners are in the midst of a crisis.

Her position involves lots of teamwork and relationship building. Being the Foster Manager allows her to work on both sides of Phinney’s Friends’ mission – animals and their humans. She works hand in hand with the Foster Assistant, Lisa Ballard, as well as Marissa McAleer, in helping find foster parents for our clients’ pets.

Lauren’s energy is contagious. Since she started working with Phinney’s Friends, about five years ago, she hasn’t sat still. She did Public Relations and Marketing activities for the organization, and started fostering cats. When Phinney’s President, Daniela Caride, decided to have all fostering activities concentrated in one volunteer position, Lauren jumped in right away, and Daniela was very happy to make her Foster Manager. “Lauren is terrific at solving problems, finding people and inspiring them to join her. We are very lucky to have her as part of our team,” said Daniela.

When asked what her favorite thing about volunteering with Phinney’s is, Lauren exclaimed that it’s finding new volunteers willing to be foster parents. “We have a limited number of foster parents available, but plenty of pets who need fostering. So there are always opportunities for more foster parents.” She loves working with volunteers and matching them to the right foster pet. And she certainly has a lot of experience to make the right call. In addition to having six cats of her own, Lauren and her fiancé, Eric Fournier, currently foster two cats for Phinney’s.

In fact, Lauren’s favorite memory off volunteering with Phinney’s was when she fostered her first two cats – a brother and a sister named Big and Little. They were shy and scared, but after a while they fit right into her family. She fostered them for a couple of months while their dad was in the hospital. After he got them back, he sent Lauren a beautiful card with pictures of Big and Little, thanking her for taking care of his feline companions. Lauren was so touched by the letter that she was hooked.

Lauren was also very pleasantly surprised later, when she started attending Phinney’s Board Meetings. “Everyone is so passionate and enthusiastic, it’s electrifying! You can’t leave a meeting without feeling energized and inspired, since everyone is so dedicated to Phinney’s. The collaboration is amazing.”

Lauren’s inspiration gets renewed not only by Phinney’s Directors’ enthusiasm, but also by her fiancé. An animal activist, Eric volunteers with two animal charities – Cat Connection in Waltham and Second Chance Shelter for Cats in Jamaica Plain.

He is so supportive of her work with Phinney’s, that the two have recently established a collaboration between Phinney’s Friends and Cat Connection. Cat Connection helps us find adoptive parents for cats whose owners cannot take their cats back, and we help Cat Connection with administrative structure, volunteer systems and hopefully with much more in the future.

When she’s not volunteering, Lauren is a Communications and Marketing manager at a local consulting firm. She also has her own consulting firm, Write Advisor, where she helps businesses, graduate students and people for whom English is a second language with their writing communications. She is also President of the Board at Bad Habit Productions, a nonprofit theater company in Boston.

Needless to say, Lauren is one busy lady. But she believes in all the things she does and encourages everyone thinking about volunteering to join the team. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to work with like-minded people.” Especially if you are interested in fostering, you would have a chance to make a huge difference at Phinney’s, she said. “You don’t have to spend any money to foster a pet though Phinney’s. We provide the food, supplies, vet bills — all animal’s expenses.  All you need to provide is the love.”

“There’s nothing better than bringing a new pet into your life who needs a temporary place to live because of unfortunate circumstances,” adds Lauren. “The pet gets to come to your home instead of ending up in a shelter. It’s so rewarding to have a direct impact on these animals’ lives. They can’t thank you verbally, but they thank you with their love and affection.”

And for all your hard work and dedication, Lauren, it is we who thank you!

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