HAPPY NEW YEAR! Do you have some resolutions that you need to fulfill? What better way to do that than to volunteer in the community? Babywearing International, Inc. (BWI) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission is to promote babywearing as a universally accepted practice, with benefits for both child and caregiver, through education and support. Our chapter is a volunteer run, transient group. Babies eventually grow up (sad face), and volunteers are always moving into different leadership roles, moving on to fulfill career goals as we are a transient town, or simply have other responsibilities. We have A LOT of opportunities, with different levels of involvement to suit all kinds of schedules and capabilities.
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. Participating as a general volunteer can help give you an idea of whether you want to pursue a more “official” role in the group.
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). These volunteers serve in a variety of capacities within local BWI chapters and are associated with a committee. CSV’s 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, Communications, Education and Training, Fundraising and Donations, Lending Library, and Membership and Outreach. Below, we have compiled a general list of duties for each committee to see where you might be able to help most.
||Education & Training
|-Check-in at meetings
-Data entry into myTurn
-Tracking of social and educational event attendees (members, non-members, volunteers)
|-1 blog post a month (topics vary)
-Weekly Instagram and Facebook posts
-Monthly chatter threads
-Set up a hootsuite profile
-Promotional/ reminder posts for meetings, workshops, and socials on both Facebook and blog
|-Become a VBE
-Current VBEs and ABEs commit to developing and leading a “section” in the new VBE training system
-Become an ABE
-Coordination quarterly workshop poll development
|Fundraising & Donations
||Membership & Outreach
|-Plan fundraising events
-Coordinate volunteers at fundraising events
-Find grants to apply for
-Develop a grant for submission
-Pursue carrier or other babywearing related donations at the local/national/international levels
-Garner local donations for meetings and other events
|-Library set up at meetings
-Library check-in and inspection at meetings
-Data entry into myTurn
-Repairing pulls in carriers
-Acquisition of carriers from a BOD-approved list
-Make suggestions for carrier retirement
-Interface with administration for library-associated fees
-Arrange late carrier return
|-Greeting at meetings
-Send membership renewal emails
-Coordination of one social per month
-Distribution of educational materials (Doctor offices, Peaceful Paths, WIC, etc)
-Coordination of at least one educational outreach presentation per quarter
-Development of Ronald McDonald House babywearing education binders
As you can see, the possibilities for how you may fit into this chapter of volunteers are endless. We have recently been able to expand and offer a second monthly meeting, which has been a great success. We would like to continue offering these expansions, and could use your help! Expansion efforts also include training the staff at Peaceful Paths and reaching out to Ronald McDonald House. More information on Educational roles be found here.
If you are interested in volunteering with BWI of Gainesville, please contact a BWI of Gainesville leader at email@example.com.
Happy New Year, we hope to see you soon!