Hello and Happy New Year! My name is Christina Owen and I’ve been writing the BWI chapter highlights for some time now. Because it felt kind of like cheating, or like I’m bragging; I haven’t written about my own chapter. I’m supposed to write about the other chapters! But today, I’m going to highlight my own chapter, BWI of the Twin Cities. Admittedly, I’m still in a holiday fog, but the truth of the matter is; my chapter is awesome and it deserves to be highlighted too – so here we go!
Babywearing International of the Twin Cities affiliated in June of 2013. Before that, we weren’t a group. We started from scratch. At that time, there were no rules that said you had to have an established group in order to affiliate, so we affiliated and then started the group. There were three leaders at the time and we started with two meetings a month. Over the past two and a half years have grown to 5-6 meetings per month. We have about 150 members and a very large and active Facebook group!
Our chapter serves the Twin Cities area of Minnesota, north and east of the Mississippi River. We have meetings in St. Paul, Woodbury, Minneapolis and Blaine. We have more than a dozen Volunteer Babywearing Educators and twenty other volunteers who help with administrative duties at meetings, social media, and other things. Fun fact: six of our volunteers are expecting, so we are looking forward to lots of squishy(newborn) wearing!
BWI of the Twin Cities has celebrated three International Babywearing Weeks, had two big anniversary parties, and participated in the Twin Cities Birth and Baby Expo every year since we’ve been affiliated, often with our sister chapter, BWI South Metro Minneapolis (who I hope to highlight in the future)! We also present our “Babywearing 101s” to many new mom groups and other organization across the Twin Cities.
We hope to have lots of fun events in 2016. We want to have some members only events, develop a sponsorship program to help raise funds for our library, and maybe even walk in a parade during the Minnesota State Fair! We would like to work on reaching out to under served populations in the Twin Cities, and maybe, if volunteer schedules allow; add another meeting. We also have several volunteers who are registered to attend the International Babywearing Conference and are really looking forward to learning some amazing things and touching base with educators and enthusiasts from around the world.