We’re doing a membership drive for the month of June. We’d like to give you a little info about our group and how we function, and explain why the June membership drive is SO COOL!
WHO ARE WE?
We are the Chicagoland Chapter of Babywearing International. We have FREE meetings in Cook County, Lake County, and McHenry County in Illinois. The mission statement, guiding principles, and all that good stuff can be found on the international website here:
We, the collective “we” are a huge group of moms and dads, with a few foster parents, grandparents, and awesome nannies throw in the mix. We spend our time, energy, and gas to get to meetings or help folks online because we believe that using baby carriers is not only a “nice option to have” but an integral and important part of childrearing. There are countless benefits to using carriers. Some of the benefits can be found HERE.
We are a free, non-profit group. Our current leadership team consists of a handful of moms and a nanny who live in the Chicago area and love helping others learn to use baby carriers (child carriers). Scroll over each photo to see which leader it is. 🙂
WHAT IS MEMBERSHIP?
We get a lot of questions about the optional BWI membership that we offer through BWI Chicagoland. We are a chapter of this international non-profit group Babywearing International. We hold meetings, playgroups, social gatherings, etc. in the Chicagoland area. Any carriers we bring to meetings are always free to try out for everyone who attends a meeting or event.
We do offer an optional BWI membership. This membership costs 30.00, and is active for 12 months. 15.00 stays with our local Chapter, we use the money to buy carriers for the library, or to buy business cards for members to hand out, etc. The other 15.00 goes to the International Organization for a number of purposes… liability insurance, printed educational materials we can pass out at meetings, and large-scale educational efforts, among other things. We support the international organization’s broad scale efforts, and have received great carriers from the Babywearing International! These carriers were all received to support the Lending Library from BWI in 2012.
This optional membership has a great benefit to caregivers. It includes lending library borrowing privileges. We have a lending library, and we bring carriers to every meeting. BWI members can borrow a carrier for 1 month (30 days). Then they can return the carrier to the next meeting or drop it off with a leader. When they return a carrier, they are allowed to check out a DIFFERENT carrier for the next month. It’s a great way to try a number of different carriers and brands! It’s also a great way to “try before you buy”. We also welcome people to become BWI members to support the organization, whether or not they plan to use the lending library or even attend meetings.
Not all carriers you’ll see in the suitcases are available for checking out, but a nice portion of them are. The ones that aren’t available for checkout are either 1. Part of a leader’s personal stash, or 2. A newer addition to the lending library that we want to be able to share and showcase across multiple meetings. The newer additions will be available for checkout after a few different meetings get to play with them.
This lending library works out really nicely for members who can regularly attend a meeting at a specific location. Our current meeting schedule consists (loosely and likely to change at any time…) of:
- One meeting each month during a weekday day in Gurnee.
- One meeting each month during a weekday in Chicago.
- One weekend meeting each quarter in Chicago.
- One additional weekend meeting for new parents every other month or so in Chicago.
- TWO monthly meetings at Cygnus Lactation in Mundelein.
- One night meeting monthly in Grayslake.
- One weekend monthly meeting at New Mother New Baby in Northbrook.
- We are figuring out logistics of starting meetings in McHenry county again this summer.
It also works well for members who live close to a leader. All current leaders live in Chicago, Lake, and McHenry County. We do allow carriers to be dropped off or shipped to a leader if you can’t make it to a meeting. It can be harder to use the library if someone doesn’t live close to a meeting or can’t attend a meeting. We always want people to be aware of that. It’s still a great way to support the group, even if you never check out a carrier!
WHAT’S SO SPECIAL ABOUT JUNE 2013?
Have you ever thought to yourself “Wow, I really learned a lot from all these parents, and I’d like to give back”? Or “This is a great group to support? Well, now is a GREAT time to donate. Broken down, it is only $2.50 a month to join to support our group. That amount per month is less than most people spend on one trip to their local coffee shop!
For the Month of June, our local chapter gets to keep the entire 30.00 from every membership! This is across the board, for all 37 Chapters in the United States! This is a great opportunity for our chapter to raise funds to purchase carriers for the lending library, and replace some that are so “well loved” that they need to retire! We will also keep 100% of the 30.00 for all membership renewals coming up, so it’s a great time to continue to support the group even if you are already a member!
If you would like to join or make a donation, please go to the following link. Please include a note with the full name for the member or donation so we can keep track! We accept cash, checks, or even Paypal! Donations can be made through paypal to firstname.lastname@example.org .
ADDED PERKS- CARRIER TRADE – IN EVENT!
We are going to do a special promotion as well for our group. This promotion is a push to help build our great lending library up EVEN MORE to accommodate the growing group and needs. It will be our own little Chicagoland Trade in Event. If you would like to trade in a carrier to our group, we will exchange that for an instant use coupon! The coupon will be good for a 12 month BWI membership, that INCLUDES the awesome lending library privileges we discussed above. The instant use coupon will become effective immediately, on the day the carrier is traded in. This promotion will run through the entire month of June 2013.
There are a few stipulations and exclusions we are adding. The traded in carrier should have a retail value of at lest $80.00. We are looking for carriers that are a good fit for the library, and acceptance will be at the discretion of the leaders. We’re excluding narrow based carriers (such as Baby Bjorn carriers), and pouches; as these items are not requested as often, and we have enough to meet our current needs. The carriers can be mailed to a leader, dropped off with a leader, or brought to a meeting! Note: Carriers traded in for the promotion will not be provided a tax-deductible receipt, since the BWI membership offered in exchange includes a benefit of services to the recipient through the lending library.
We love donations for our library, and will accept donations with a lower value, and even straight donations, and can provide a tax receipt for those donations. In that case no membership would be offered.
To take advantage of this neat trade in event, please email email@example.com or contact one of the leaders on the Facebook group.