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The Face of Phinney’s Friends

October 10, 2016

Marissa with coon hound Mercy Lou and husky mix Little Luna

How effective would Phinney’s work be if no one knew about it? Being active online and especially in social media makes us reach more people who need help with their pets, and more good souls who help us grow through their donations and volunteer work.

That’s where Marissa McAleer makes a difference. A lawyer by profession, Marissa is not afraid of a challenge. When she moved from New Jersey to Waltham with her husband, in 2014, she started looking into connecting with a pet-related nonprofit. By searching for volunteer opportunities nearby, she found our website, and applied to join our team.

Marissa is intrepid. She first started helping with events. Soon after, though, she relocated to New Hampshire, and we really hoped she would continue volunteering. Marissa liked Phinney’s Friends so much, she decided she would continue volunteering, doing work from home for the organization.

When she found out Phinney’s Friends needed help with Facebook, she jumped in and started blogging about the loving people and the pets we help in Massachusetts. She soon started tweeting for us as well, and our social media pages spiked with visits, shares and comments as never seen before. We even started finding new volunteers through those channels!

It didn’t matter that Marissa had never worked in journalism, PR or website programming. After getting into a routine with Facebook and Twitter, she was ready for new adventures and signed up to become our newsletter editor and to manage our blog and website.

“Marissa is a force of nature,” says Daniela Caride, Phinney’s Friends President. “Her energy is inspiring, and we are all extremely grateful for her stamina, intelligence and for never giving up. If someone will get the job done it’s Marissa.”

With such an incredible drive and enthusiasm, Marissa was soon managing a team of volunteers. She schedules the production of stories and suggests ways to improve our website content, getting in to update it, and learning how to edit things herself. She’s even writing stories for the newsletter.

Give her a task, and she will master it. “I had zero experience in web design and web development. But I’m happy to do those things,” she says, very casually.

But we don’t take her contributions lightly. Marissa is focused and organized. And with her skills, she brought to Phinney’s online presence a much-needed freshness, and made it infinitely more dynamic.

Will she stop here? We don’t think so, and we hope not. When she gets too comfortable with these complex volunteer tasks she is leading, we’ll make sure to offer her yet another one to add to her plate.

If she agrees to do it, we can sit back and relax. She will, without a doubt, get it done.

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