Volunteer Highlight: Jade Penney – NVW2017

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We want to wrap up National Volunteer Week with someone who is not only an outstanding volunteer, but someone who is also a great leader. We know Jade has the trait of great leadership because she also nominated several people from her chapter, BWI of Hampton Roads, as Outstanding Volunteers.

Asian woman and her toddler smiling at the camera while they take a self portrait from the side. The toddler is on her mother’s back in a natural colored woven wrap.



Jade Penney was nominated by three different people from her chapter, Dana Karstensen-Bryan, Brittany Brown Marsh, and Amy Pascua Anderson. Their reasons for nominating her were all very similar. They said that Jade stepped up in their chapter during a time of turbulence and change. Jade continues to help the chapter work towards inclusivity and diversity, as well as putting procedures in place to ensure the longevity of the chapter.

So I asked Jade all the following questions:

Why did you decide to volunteer?

Jade: “After several months of attending my local chapter’s monthly babywearing meetings, I decided to take my commitment to the practice a step further and become an educator. It was a way to make friends, get out of the house with the tiny human, and share my new love of babywearing with others that could benefit. My husband is a merchant mariner for the US Navy and spends half the year or more at sea. Living far from where I grew up with a newborn and a husband away, I needed a community to connect with. The Hampton Roads chapter gave me this in exchange for my volunteered time.”

What do you love about volunteering?

Jade: “Four years later and the organization still holds my heart. Even through recent growing pains, my chapter has continued to provide a community of friendships as always. Clearly, the people I interact with through my work is my most treasured part of volunteering. Be it volunteers or community members that attend events, there are always new faces with varied personalities. It is a great way to bond with people you wouldn’t otherwise interact with.”

What, if any, positions have you held, locally or nationally?

Jade: “Over the past four years, I’ve served on my local board and on national committees. Locally, I’ve held the titles of Area Representative, Director of Education, Vice President of Operations, and, now, Chapter President. Nationally, I serve on the Technology Team and the Governance Committee.”

What are some achievements you’ve been part of while volunteering?

Jade: “One of my greatest accomplishments include my project for gaining a Master Babywearing Educator accreditation through national ( https://vimeo.com/135456337 ). My other and more recent accomplishment deals with local growing pains and leading my chapter through a turbulent transition period after some personnel change over. It’s been time consuming and exhausting, but it has brought our chapter further along in our inclusivity goals.”



Asian woman speaking with another person while wearing her tired preschooler on her back in a blue structured carrier and her infant in a peach and white woven wrap on her chest. The infant is discretely nursing.

Jade, your work has not gone unnoticed. Thanks for all you do for BWI and your local chapter!