Volunteers with Babywearing International are committed to bringing babywearing support and education to caregivers, not just through online support, meetings, and Lending Library events, but also through dedicated outreach efforts into their local communities. Community outreach is a forte for our second Outstanding Volunteer in our celebration of National Volunteer Week 2016, Lauren Maynard of BWI of Phoenix, nominated by TaiLeah Madill.
Lauren and her family live near Phoenix, Arizona. Before having her daughter, Audrey, almost 3 years ago, Lauren was an elementary school teacher, and her husband owns his own business. For fun, they attend almost ever Arizona Diamondbacks baseball game and enjoy traveling the world. Along with her husband, Lauren has explored the world while babywearing: Australia, Fiji, Indonesia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Italy, Switzerland, and the Netherlands so far. These world travelers are planning their next trip as you read this, and we can’t wait to hear where you wear next, Lauren!
Babywearing became a part of Lauren’s parenting because she loves the closeness with her daughter, and has found that babywearing has allowed them to “explore the world with her on my back”; hiking and sightseeing in places that would have been impossible to do without wearing her little one.
Lauren says she is a volunteer with her chapter because, “I am passionate about babywearing, but teaching is my first love. Volunteering with BWI gives me a chance to teach something I love while still being a stay at home mom. I didn’t even realize how much I missed teaching until I felt that fulfillment after my first meeting as a Volunteer Babywearing Educator.”
As a volunteer, Lauren is currently an Advanced Babywearing Educator with Babywearing International of Phoenix. She is on the Board of Directors for her chapter and also serves as the Vice President of Outreach. She coordinates all of the outreach classes and fairs, and has been focusing on working with local businesses and underserved populations. Lauren is most excited about the work they have been doing with local outreach: their chapter has been collecting donated carriers and distributing them to families in need and also working with a few local family-based homeless shelters. She is “excited to be spreading the love and convenience of babywearing throughout (her) community.”
TaiLeah nominated Lauren with the following entry: “Lauren is a great asset to our chapter and to BWI as a whole. She is our chapter’s VP of Outreach. She is an ABE and currently pursuing her MBE. She has been instrumental in coordinating our outreach efforts and bringing them to a unified front. She has increased our presence in our community at events and groups outside of our meetings. She is working on a huge outreach endeavor with a local homeless community non-profit to establish an ongoing education series for their clients. Lauren is also our communications lead. She is one of our chapter’s best communicators and mediators and is always willing to work with the difficult situations and can find the most amicable path to take. Her sensitivity and understanding help her to navigate difficult situations and personalities, both within our leadership and in our community. Her guidance has been instrumental in keeping our chapter running smoothly and mitigating the few situations that could have created rifts in our group. She is irreplaceable!”
Thank you, Lauren and TaiLeah! Your dedication to volunteering with BWI and spreading the babywearing love in your community is appreciated. We look forward to hearing more about the successes of your outreach efforts!
See our additional 2016 Featured Outstanding Volunteers: