This year for Babywearing International Week, we have a goal of increasing our membership and raising funds to accomplish more of our outreach goals.  When you become a member, you may be asking yourself “What exactly do I get out of giving you $30?”

Take a seat, because I am about to tell you why becoming a member of BWI of Wichita is totally awesome.

[Image Description: GIF from The Lego Movie of a lego person singing “Everything is awesome.”]

1. You don’t have to #buyallthecarriers.

We have two meetings each month. Our lending library contract allows members to borrow a carrier from the library a month at a time, but, for the ambitious, you could conceivably check out a carrier at all 24 meetings we hold in a calendar year. That’s 24 carriers you can pet, cuddle, take selfies with, try and have fun with without buying it.  If you purchased that many carriers, you could easily drop a couple grand (not to mention the money you’ll be spending on counseling because your spouse has had it up to here….) So $30 is totally a steal.

Even if you have your own carrier already, or even your own collection of baby carriers, its always fun to play with something different in our library. Try something new and fun without breaking the bank.

[Image description: Meme of a stick figure person screaming “Buy all the carriers.”  ]
[Image description: Meme of a sad stick figure person saying “Buy all the carriers.” ]

2. You are supporting your local chapter.

As an affiliated BWI chapter, we do remit a portion of all memberships to our national parent organization for the services it provides, including liability insurance (more on that later), but the vast majority of that money you give stays in Wichita to help Wichita caregivers. With your membership purchase, you are helping your neighbors, your friends, your family and your community. #WichitaProud

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3. You are helping other babywearers.

Remember that moment just before you found out what babywearing could do for you? Do you remember the moment immediately following it when babywearing helped you? Your continued support of this community resource ensures that we can continue doing that for others. This chapter began in 2010 (affiliated in 2013) and we want to be in this community forever.

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4. You are making a difference in your community.

By becoming a member, you are investing in the education, outreach, and community-building that we do as an organization.   We use our library and time to spread information on safe babywearing practices and create awareness and support for babywearers in the Wichita metro and surrounding area. We’re doing something important here.

We do this through outreach events (which often have vendor fees and volunteer travel costs), educational materials (printing costs), and other general costs that go along with non-profit mission work. All of these costs help further the mission of babywearing international, which is to make babywearing a universally accepted practice.

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5. You are ensuring the safety and education of your educators.

Did you know that all educators must go through a multi-step assessment of their skills and knowledge? Did you know that your VBEs are insured? A portion of your membership funds go towards the insurance premiums that keep your educators accountable and protected while they carry out their duties on behalf of BWI. This protects us and it protects you. The knowledge that every VBE must know to become accredited and insured ensure that you are receiving safe and accurate information about how to carry your most precious cargo.

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6. Your get more bang for your charitable buck.

Think about charitable donations you have made to other large organizations. How much of every donated dollar goes to overhead and salaries? How much of every dollar goes directly towards the organization mission?
BWI is a fairly large national organization. We have over 100 affiliated chapters, 1200 volunteers and 9400 members. It is estimated that BWI has reached an estimated 150,000 parents and caregivers nationwide. There is one person who receives a salary. ONE. Can other charitable organizations as large as BWI say the same?
Yes, we are able to accomplish a great deal of work purely on the power of the volunteer which means your cash money goes straight to making a difference. It buys carriers for those who can’t afford one. It buys educational materials that can be handed out for free. It pays for meeting spaces so that we don’t have to charge anyone for education who can’t afford it. It pays for carriers that go directly into our lending library for you to use.

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8. You are supporting a community and network of supporting caregivers.

We are not just here to lend out carriers and tell people about the Safety ABCs. We are here to support you. We are here to empower you. We are here to make you feel welcome. We are here so that you can finally say, this is it. This is my village.

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9. You are making babywearing a universally accepted practice and accessible to all.

This is the crux of it. This is why we do what we do. We believe babywearing is quite possibly the most valuable skill in a caregiver’s toolbox. We want to make sure EVERYONE knows what it is and how to do it. We want to spread that babywearing love. Your donation gives you the warm fuzzy feeling of knowing that you, too, are spreading the babywearing love. Giver yourself a high five.

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Support our Chapter by Becoming a Member today!

Renew your membership! You can renew at any time and extend your membership by a year (so if you purchased a membership on January 1, 2017 and renewed it now, your membership would run through the end of December 2019).

Refer a friend! We don’t exactly have the budget to take out a billboard ad along Kellogg. We survive on word of mouth and referrals. If you have loved what BWI of Wichita has offered you, please tell your friends, family and strangers at Target about how awesome we are.

Give a gift membership! You may have loved your Lillebaby but how do you if your cousin’s friend’s sister will like it too? BWI membership makes an excellent gift for an expecting friend or relative. We provide a gift certificate and the membership can be activated when the recipient chooses. If you don’t personally know anyone imminently needing to wear any children, consider purchasing a membership in our Pay-it-Forward program. Individuals who may need, but are unable to afford, the $30 membership can receive
one for free from you.

And finally, you don’t have to buy a membership at all to support this chapter. Consider making a tax deductible donation! We can accept donations in any amount via PayPal or by cash or check at a meeting or we have a wish list of carriers that we could use for the lending library if you prefer to make an in-kind donation. (Note: donations do not come with membership benefits.) There are also numerous other ways you can support our chapter.

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