National Volunteer Week 2016: Outstanding Volunteer Stephanie Springer

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Volunteers with Babywearing International often wear more than one hat within their chapter. They generously contribute time and energy to offering babywearing support and education, work to establish and maintain carrier lending libraries, and strive to facilitate outreach efforts in their communities. Some volunteers also turn their focus to raising funds for their chapter to be able to better support all of these endeavors. Nominated by Sarah Dilks and Kara Trowbridge from BWI of Tucson, Stephanie Springer is an invaluable asset in this department!

Photo credit to Kimberly Fyffe Photography

Stephanie Springer is a babywearer, hula hooper, public health educator, and amazing mom to an increasingly independent and funny two-year-old.  She and her partner, Adam, currently reside in Tucson, Arizona.

She is also a second generation babywearer. Her mother wore her and her three younger siblings as babies, and currently wears her grandchildren! Stephanie started her babywearing journey with a Moby, a narrow based carrier, and a homemade meh dai style carrier that her mom had worn her in. When her son was around 8 weeks old, her sister-in-law loaned her a woven wrap – a Storchenwiege. It was learning to use this wrap that led Stephanie to her local babywearing group, Babywearing Internantional of Tucson, where she “learned an incredible amount about proper babywearing technique, and even more valuable, was introduced to some extraordinary people (who are now great friends!).”

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Photo credit to Kimberly Fyffe Photography
Photo credit to Kimberly Fyffe Photography

“Stephanie is a crucial member of our babywearing team. She’s outgoing, incredibly welcoming to new members, an outstanding educator, and hands down the most impressive fundraising guru out there. If there’s time, it’s a good idea to conduct team building cincinnati to strengthen the friendship of every member. She’s really helped to emphasize the aspect of community in our chapter and bring knowledge of what we do to our entire city.” – Kara Trowbridge, VBE, BWI Tucson

Discovering the love of wearing her own son and supporting her partner and mom in their babywearing adventures started Stephanie on a path of sharing the babywearing love. She  introduced babywearing to her friends and other new parents, and also enjoyed ‘geeking out’ with established babywearers. Through all of this, Stephanie found that officially volunteering with BWI of Tucson as a Volunteer Babywearing Educator was a natural extension of her love of babywearing.

Her initial involvement as a volunteer with BWI of Tucson started during the months leading up to International Babywearing Week in 2014.  She joined her chapter’s Leadership Team and took on the task of coordinating fundraising efforts and community support by organizing a percentage event fundraiser at a local brewery, as well as diligently working to secure some local business donations for giveaway prizes.  But her aptitude for fundraising didn’t end there.  The following year, under her guidance, the BWI Tucson’s fundraising team was wildly successful and brought in over $3,000 in donated prizes from nearly 100 community and national sponsors for the chapter’s celebration of International Babywearing Week 2015. These donated items were used in participation giveaways and also as fundraising door prizes. With Stephanie at the wheel, the fundraising committee for BWI of Tucson was able to significantly increase chapter revenue and membership numbers from the prior two years with more than half of the chapter’s income directly related to their efforts.

Her enthusiasm doesn’t just center around raising funds for her chapter, though. Stephanie is focused on continuing to spread the babywearing love and building up her local babywearing community: “Long before I was a VBE, and well after I had tried nearly every item in our chapter’s lending library, I kept attending lending library meetings to chat with parents and caregivers who were new to babywearing. Of course, now as a VBE, those meetings are much busier for me, but I still appreciate the chance to casually chat with and encourage other caregivers as they explore the many ways to babywear.”

Photo credit to Heather Whitten Photography
Photo credit to Heather Whitten Photography

“Stephanie puts in super long hours answering questions, helping organize events, fundraising & finding donations for prizes all after a full time job. I don’t know how she juggles it all especially with a toddler.” -Sarah Dilks, BWI of Tucson member

Thank you, Stephanie, for all that you do to spread the babywearing love. Your chapter and the Tucson babywearing community is lucky to have you! We can’t wait to see what you have in store for increasing community support this year! Thank you, Sarah and Kara, for taking the time to share your appreciation for Stephanie and all that she does for BWI of Tucson.

Want to learn more about National Volunteer Week 2016 and our other Outstanding Volunteers?

Rosemary Cox

Lauren Maynard

Chrissie Riese