Has BWI of Gainesville made an impact in your life? Do you enjoy going to meetings to meet up with new and seasoned babywearers? Do you like to geek out over carriers? Do you have administrative skills or have a passion for helping others? Would you like to give back to the community? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then we have a job for YOU!
Our local chapter is always looking for volunteers. This is a transient group (babies do eventually grow up and volunteers are always moving into different leadership roles) in a transient town (as people move on to fulfill career goals or to be close to extended family members). In addition, we will be adding more meetings this fall and will need extra volunteers to help.
We are a volunteer-run chapter of BWI. Every BWI chapter has a myriad of tasks and levels of commitment for volunteers. There are four levels of Babywearing Educators, and two types of non-educational volunteers. Babywearing International of Gainesville, FL has many volunteers in each category in order to provide the best possible support to our local community. Each category of volunteer has a specialized role and makes a significant contribution to the operation of our chapter.
If you have a desire to become involved as a volunteer, a general volunteer is the place to start. These are current members of BWI Gainesville that help accomplish the logistics of the chapter’s public meeting efforts and/or other mission objectives. Examples of these vital tasks are: meeting check-in, greeting new arrivals, aiding lending library check-in and -out, managing social media updates, etc.
After getting your feet wet for three months as a general volunteer, you may wish to make a greater commitment to BWI of Gainesville by becoming a Chapter Support Volunteer (CSV). CSVs serve in a variety of capacities within local BWI chapters including administrative roles of the chapter board and/or educators in training. CSVs are associated with a committee and are expected to attend the majority of committee functions, and attend at least two general meetings in a support role each quarter. Committees include: Administration, Education and Training, Membership and Outreach, Lending Library, and Donations and Fundraising.
If you have a passion for teaching others, you may train to become a babywearing educator. These are the volunteers who provide instruction at meetings and support within the community. All accredited babywearing educators have demonstrated proficiency in a wide variety of baby carrier types as well as babywearing safety and best practices.
Volunteer Babywearing Educator (VBE) is the entry-level accreditation for BWI educators. VBEs understand and can teach basic babywearing safety and have demonstrated knowledge of the major baby carrier types (wraps, ring slings, pouch slings, meh dais, and soft structured carriers) both through a written assessment and a practical skills assessment. VBEs are also a member of one or more board committees and are expected to host at least one event or complete one project for their committee. In addition, VBEs attend at least two general meetings in a teaching role each quarter.
Advanced Babywearing Educator (ABE) is the mid-level accreditation for BWI educators. To become an ABE one must serve as a Volunteer Babywearing Educator (VBE) for a minimum of six months and take an active role in the chapter. ABEs must also demonstrate advanced babywearing knowledge and skills including working with newborns, tandem wearing, advanced wrapping skills, and an understanding of how to respond to tricky situations or special needs within their groups. Finally, ABEs also complete a project of their choice that benefits the babywearing community. ABEs are expected to respond to any special situation at meetings and provide training/mentoring to educators in training and VBEs who want to pursue higher accreditation.
Master Babywearing Educator (MBE) is the highest level of accreditation offered by BWI. MBE candidates must have been ABEs for at least six months, complete a project of their choice that benefits the BWI community, and demonstrate mastery of babywearing by conducting a supervised VBE skills assessment. MBEs are expected to take on a significant leadership role within the national organization. In addition to the VBE requirements, MBEs are expected to respond to any special situations at meetings and provide training/mentoring to educators in training and VBEs who want to pursue higher accreditation. BWI of Gainesville is thankful for our MBE’s dedication to the babywearing community.
You don’t have to know everything there is to know about babywearing if you want to become a VBE: that is what the Volunteer Babywearing Educators in Training (VBEiT) process is for! VBEiTs are working to become VBEs. During the training process VBEiTs gain experience using and teaching the five main types of carriers with both newborns and toddlers. VEBiTs may be CSVs while in the training process.
As you can see, the possibilities for how you may fit into this chapter of volunteers are endless.
If you are interested in volunteering with BWI of Gainesville, please contact a BWI of Gainesville leader at firstname.lastname@example.org.