14 Apr

National Volunteer Week 2016: Chrissie Riese

11206087_719861067367_6916556027463406344_nOn day three of National Volunteer Week 2016, we are going to celebrate and thank someone who is passionate about babywearing and outreach. Today we are featuring Chrissie Riese from Babywearing International of Hampton Roads. Chrissie was nominated by Jade Penney and Brittany Marsh.

Chrissie Riese currently resides in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia with her babywearing, active duty husband and their daughter, age 2. She is a Certified Athletic Trainer and works as the Regional Manager of Shipyard Programs for Tidewater Physical Therapy, Inc. Along with working full time and enjoying all aspects of the babywearing community, she also enjoys powerlifting, all things crafting, and is an avid football fan. She is currently a VBE and VP of Community Outreach for BWI Hampton Roads.

When Chrissie was pregnant she put a Moby wrap on her registry. She says,  “…because when you’re pregnant with your first, you must have EVERYTHING at Babies ‘R Us, right?” Her sister-in-law gave Chrissie the wrap during her shower. Her sister-in-law did not quite realize how monumental that gift would become. Miss McKenzie came along and Chrissie’s husband’s ‘daddy leave’ ended, leaving her stranded with a newborn. Chrissie had spent the majority of the previous 21 days in a comfy chair with a little squish attached to her breasts. But now with her husband gone, she needed to feed herself and maybe get some housework done. She had a good bit of anxiety leaving Kenzie out of her direct line of sight- even with a baby monitor. Enter the Moby wrap.

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She spent the rest of her maternity leave cuddled together with Kenzie in her Moby. Don’t worry, Daddy got in on the baby cuddles too! Their lives were forever changed. She could give her baby a safe, secure environment to explore the world while Chrissie still had the use of both hands. She found that she could prevent or significantly decrease crying time; and a happier baby meant happier parents. As a side effect, her parenting stress and anxiety significantly decreased. Chrissie says, “there’s just something calming about holding a little person close. It’s 27 months later and I’ve never looked back on the decision to wear my child.”

” As our new VP of outreach Chrissie has completely revamped our outreach efforts, increased member retention incentives, and continually works on new ways to better our org.” Jade Penney

Chrissie decided to start volunteering because she felt that she needed to do and give more to families in her community. She had made a lot of friends in the local babywearing group, so it seemed like a natural transition to go from member to educator. Chrissie notes, “It is such an honor to be able to teach caregivers how to wear their children, see them develop proficiency, and allow it to revolutionize the way they’re able to care for children.”

10347501_714019483947_2098478917702336147_nChrissie is currently a VBE and sits on the Board of Directors of BWI of Hampton Roads as the VP of Community Outreach. As an educator, she enjoys assisting chapter members and the general public in mastering the art of babywearing. As the VP of Community outreach, Chrissie facilitates and coordinates all of their outreach events and handles all aspects of membership. Since joining the board, she’s been able to implement a new outreach display and has added several membership perks for their members. She is most excited about an opportunity for the group to start working with W.I.C. in their area. They are currently developing a membership scholarship program and educational series within the W.I.C. program to make babywearing more accessible in their area. Chrissie says her favorite chapter event has been, “Our party at the end of International Babywearing Week! The kids have as  great of a time playing as all the adults have socializing. I’m hoping to be able to create more of these member events throughout the year.”

“Chrissie has gone above and beyond to help increase our community outreach. Chrissie goes out of her way, while working a full time job to make sure we reach as many caregivers as possible. Even if she works an event alone, she makes sure we are present. She is a rock star and BWI of HR is so lucky to have her.” Brittany Marsh

Thank you Chrissie for sharing your passion and the love of babywearing with your local community. We look forward to hearing more about your outreach endeavors. Thanks for Jade and Brittany for taking the time to let us know about Chrissie and BWI of HR.

Make sure to read our previous Outstanding Volunteers of 2016!

Rosemary Cox

Lauren Maynard

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