Volunteers are the butter to our bread, the cheese to our macaroni. We really do love our volunteers. Today we want to highlight someone on the West Coast of the United States. This person is Jay McMillin from BWI of the Bay Area.
Jay was nominated by Anna Margush. Her reason for nominating Jay? “Jay has been a consistent advocate, pushing our chapter to do more and more effective outreach and be as accessible as possible. She’s fought long and hard to form connections with other organizations providing caregiver support and as a result we have some great opportunities to help the people around us who most need it. She sees an issue and jumps in – there was a meeting gap in an area our chapter doesn’t cover so she started an independent group that is THRIVING. This while also leading two of our eleven meetings a month, filling in at other meetings when needed, serving on our Board of Directors for several years, this year as president, as well as volunteering with other organizations to support caregivers. She’s dynamite and a huge asset to the community.”
So I asked Jay a few questions.
Why did you start volunteering?
Jay: “My breastfeeding journey had a really rough start. After getting help with a carrier at a local BWI meeting, I started to feel more confident in my parenting abilities and able to get out of the house more often with my daughter. Her feeding routine seemed so much more manageable after that! It was a missing piece of the puzzle for me. I wanted to share this knowledge with everyone! Currently I’m really focused on access to carriers for everyone. Our local group is doing a lot of work in this area, and I’m so happy to be a part of it.”
What do you love most about volunteering?
Jay: “As much as I love doing outreach events and training other educators, my favorite thing about being a VBE will always be helping caregivers at meetings. It makes me so happy when they find that carrier that is perfect for them, or when they leave feeling confident with a carrier they were struggling with. There’s such empowerment that comes with the independence a carrier can offer!”
What positions, if any, have you held, either nationally or locally?
Jay: “I am an [Advanced Babywearing Educator], and current president of the Bay Area [Board of Directors]. I have served for over 2 years on the Board.”
What are some accomplishments you’ve been part of while volunteering with your group?
Jay: “I’m happy to have been a part of pushing for evening and weekend meetings in the Bay Area for working caregivers (of which we now have 4!), learning libraries that reflect our values as an organization, and I’m especially thrilled to be collaborating with local health agencies to educate their personnel on the importance of baby carrying and helping them refer their clients to our non profit.”
Thank you, Jay, for all your work! Your chapter is lucky to have you!
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Volunteer Highlight : Jess Stampe
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