As National Volunteer Week comes to an end, we would like to again issue a sincere thanks to our over 680 VBEs, ABEs, MBEs, CSVs, and committee members [see What the Heck is a VBE?]. You are the roots of the organization – you provide the foundation that makes us grow strong and steady. You do the work to feed this organization even when volunteering can be hard. But you keep coming back to see the smiles of successful caregivers who have two free hands, to see the sweet sleepy babies, to support the new parents in need of a solution in their parenting tool box, and to see families bonding and thriving. Thank you for all that you do. – Signed The BWI Board of Directors
The final volunteer that we want to feature this week (we should do more, right?) is Melinda Ciaccia from BWI of Chicagoland. She is a VBE with her sight set on becoming an Advanced Babywearing Educator (ABE), is Librarian, and serves on her chapter’s Board of Directors. She is looking forward to becoming more involved with BWI on a national level.
Sara Stephenson says, “Melinda has really been working hard lately. She’s been attending about half our meetings every month, plus she’s a college student! She’s in charge of our library that is split into 4 rather sizable libraries. She does so much!”
Melinda began babywearing when her son was 3 days old thanks to the childbirth education class she took while pregnant. The instructor highly recommend a Moby Wrap so that’s where Melinda started. When her son was about eight months old, she came across her local BWI chapter and her love of babywearing skyrocketed!
“I was really shocked when one of the old leaders came to me about two years ago and asked me about becoming a leader” Melinda says. She loves babywearing and wanted to spread the word in a positive way so she took the plunge and became a VBE.
Sometimes it’s little stressful, being a chapter leader, going to so many meetings, as well as going to school, doing research and raising a toddler, but she says, “My fellow leaders, members, and new moms keep me going.” Melinda knows that her fellow leaders always have her back and pick her up when she’s down. “I seriously couldn’t do my job without them.”
Melinda says she continues to volunteer because her chapter also has some amazing members, who come to meetings to learn, socialize, and offer their time to volunteer. Some make financial contributions just to make sure that the group can continue to grow and thrive. She also volunteers because of the new moms. Melinda remembers how overwhelming and confusing it was at first when she started looking into babywearing. She wants to help new moms gain the confidence to wear their babies – just as she was helped.
Are you interested in volunteering with BWI? Go here to find your local chapter and see how you can help!