EDUCATION & SUPPORT TEAM
The Education & Support Team develops programming and events to carry out the mission of Huddle Up Moms: host the Exchange educational panels; develops educational content to share with the community; and creates meaningful engagement opportunities through the Huddle Groups.
If you're interested in joining Huddle Up Mom on the Education & Support Team, please reach out to us!
Educational Content Developer
Loran Gillespie and her family are new residents to the Roanoke area and she instantly fell in love with the beautiful scenery that surrounds her and the mountain views right in her backyard. She is an educator by trade serving as a former Mathematics Teacher and an Instructional Technology Coach in the public school system in Stafford, Virginia. She continues her work here in Roanoke as an Education Specialist with Carilion Clinic and serves as a part of the Education &Support Team with HUM. While she is a proud educator, Loran most enjoys her role as wife, mother, sister, daughter and friend to so many special people in her life. Loran is a mother to her 3 year old son, Teddy, who is a lover of all things trains and who inspires her to serve this community and help in the effort to create a space for mothers to connect and learn from one another.
"I chose to be a part of HUM because I feel strongly that there is such a need for moms to connect with one another and have a supportive community around them. When mothers are supported and empowered, there is nothing they cannot do!"
Ruth was born and raised in Florida, but has called Virginia her home since 2015 - more specifically - Roanoke since November 2020. Ruth works as a local REALTOR® here in the valley where she donates 10% of her income to charitable organizations. Prior to her career in real estate, she spent 15 years in the world of finance working with industry leading financial firms. When she isn't juggling work and her toddler, she is looking for opportunities where she can donate her time or out getting social with other mamas of The Valley.
Since she was a little girl, philanthropy and charity have been near and dear to Ruth's heart and volunteering with HUM fills so much of that bucket for her. Having moved with a newborn during a pandemic, Ruth found herself feeling isolated, lonely, and missing the sense of community she had. In February 2022 she was introduced to Huddle Up Moms and found her people! She didn't dip a toe, she took a plunge - joining multiple huddles and attending every meet-up she could. When she was approached to join the team, it felt like a natural next step for her to take.
Ruth lives in Roanoke county with her husband, son, and their zoo (three dogs, one cat, lots of deer, and a backyard bear). She and her husband love the adventure that mountain living offers and are excited to raise their family here. In their down time, you can find them hiking local spots, exploring the many local parks, hitting up local events, or just hanging at their casa.
"I know what it's like to be a mom and have to (re)build your community - that's why I was so excited to discover Huddle Up Moms! Connecting • Educating • Empowering - their mission aligns greatly with my passion of not just supporting mothers, but women in general. I firmly believe that this organization needs to be international; I am so excited and honored to be a part of it and to help it grow!"
"I am involved with HUM because I believe in supporting, encouraging, and empowering moms of NICU babies. I want to foster an environment of acceptance and strength where NICU moms know the power that they have to be the best advocates for their babies."
Moms with Children with Special Needs
“I feel strongly that when we meet the needs and bridge the gaps for all kids, we can raise a stronger and more diverse a d tolerant generation. As moms of children with special needs, we have a unique opportunity to be a voice for our children and to connect with others who experience similar situations.”
"I’ve decided to volunteer with Huddle Up Moms this year because I feel strongly about the importance of building connection and community, especially among women. I'm fairly new to the area so I thought this would be a great way to jump in!"
"I am thrilled to be involved with HUM. Motherhood is so rewarding but it also can be very overwhelming and at times isolating. Many moms, including myself, experience a loss of self during early motherhood while we figure out the right balance, and tend to prioritize our children over ourselves. This can lead to loneliness and depression. It is so important for us moms to have access to resources to continue to be better parents and grow, but equally important to prioritize self-care and build a village of other moms and a support network of like-minded women. HUM helps with both of those things."
Dominique Gallo and Kendra Carroll
"I am a strong believer in parent's right to choose and believe that parents are fully capable to make decisions for their families. I have been helping mothers with lactation and birthing for the past 9 years and am a life time learner."
“Now more than ever, it’s so important for mamas to have the support they need”
Moms of Loss
"Huddle up mom's provides a community I have searched for since becoming a mom. Motherhood is about finding your village and HUM truly is that village. Motherhood can be isolating and lonely but with access to resources, and newfound friendships, I've found support and a sense of belonging."
Katie McNally Tait
Moms of Pandemic Babies
"Becoming a mom during a global pandemic is a profoundly weird experience. New moms like me have had to miss so many of the basic community bonding opportunities that normally accompany first time parenthood. By starting a specific “Moms of Pandemic Babies,” huddle, we can help to fill that community gap and bring together a supportive group of moms who are on this unique path together. In addition to our online presence, it’s important to me that this huddle includes a monthly walking group. I think we are all craving some in person interaction and I believe this will provide a regular, low-risk opportunity to do that. I hope to see all you hardworking pandemic mammas there!"
Ginny Leigh Hundley
Stay at Home Moms
"Huddle Up Moms is important to me because moms need a community! Parenting is hard, and it is so important for moms to have support and resources available to leverage whenever needed. Whether it's to ask questions, share stories of successes and teachable moments, pictures of our little ones, we all need others in similar life stages to lean on. It really does take a village, and that's what Huddle Up Moms is to me."
Reagan Costello-White and Amber Perdue
"I've been a foster mom for about 5 years and I know it's a tough job. I'm interested in bringing foster moms together to lighten the load."
“ I am passionate about sharing life’s experiences together. Adoption can have its challenges that can sometimes only be understood by people who have been there. I am excited to create and belong to a space where moms can come together to voice the beauty and the challenges in their walk as a foster/adoptive mom. “
Moms of Teens
“Moms groups literally saved my life as a new mom living in a military base in Hawaii. I don’t know what I would have done without the community of moms in those groups. I want to bring that to everyone I can. We are not meant to go it alone”