Over the past several months, it has become clear that the priorities and mission of Babywearing International of the Twin Cities (BWITC) is no longer in alignment with that of Babywearing International (BWI). Thus, we have decided to sever ties with BWI.
Ultimately what the national organization could provide was no longer meeting our needs and the needs of the community we currently serve and the greater community we hope to serve. The energies of our volunteers will be dedicated more towards outreach. The income of the new organization will be transparent and go directly towards what we need to function as a non-profit organization and our local community. We are committed to providing more timely responses to address topics of concern. Inclusivity and diversity will be of utmost importance in all of our actions.
Thank you for your ongoing support and patience as we transition. We are very excited for the future of our organization!
For more details, check out our Frequently Asked Questions below.
Board of Directors, Babywearing Twin Cities
Christina Owen, President
Angela Reinders, Vice President
J Gwendolyn Arana, Secretary
Lian Duan, Treasurer
Laura Ann Luce, Volunteer & Education Coordinator
Maddie Marshall, Community Meeting Coordinator
Emily Niemi, Outreach Coordinator
Stephanie Lu Sinclair, Digital Marketing Coordinator
Adele Marie Wendorff, Library Coordinator
- Our ability to address and act on topics of inclusivity and diversity
- Our name, logo, email, social media names and Amazon Smile link
- Membership dues and money raised through fundraisers stay 100% local
- Breadth of volunteer training: additional carrier types and education formats
What’s Not Changing
- Our website address
- Membership types, costs and availability of scholarships
- Your membership status and expiration date
- Meetings and meeting locations
- Our carriers, lending libraries and myTurn inventory website
- Depth of volunteer training
- Volunteer and organization insurance
Why did Babywearing International of the Twin Cities (BWITC) disaffiliate from Babywearing International?
The decision was complicated and difficult to make, but the Board of Directors and a subsequent vote by our volunteers determined that our local chapter was no longer in alignment with the national organization.
- We determined that issues of diversity and inclusivity were so important to our group that we wanted the ability to make our own decisions on these types of issues without oversight or inaction from Babywearing International.
- Financials were also a deciding factor – BWITC remitted over 30% of income to Babywearing International and received minimal benefit. We can put that money to better use locally while still maintaining the same administrative backbone we had under Babywearing International (e.g. myTurn software, insurance).
As an independent organization, we can also focus more on community education services and distribute baby carriers freely to local individuals and community groups.
Purpose of Babywearing Twin Cities
The purpose of the organization is:
- to build the bond between babies and caregivers through baby carrier education and support;
- to provide a community education service and distribute baby carriers to individuals and other organizations for their use; and
- to celebrate babywearing among caregivers through online and in-person gatherings.
Q: How will disaffiliating from Babywearing International affect my membership status?
A: Your Babywearing International membership will still be honored by Babywearing Twin Cities, as an independent group, until it was originally set to expire. There will be no interruption to your membership or benefits of your membership.
Q: Will the cost of membership change in the future?
A: Annual memberships through Babywearing Twin Cities will continue to be $30 and monthly memberships will continue to be $10. Three monthly memberships will automatically be upgraded to an annual membership, effective for twelve months starting on the date of the first monthly membership.
The only change is that Babywearing Twin Cities will retain 100% of membership dues which we will be able to invest back into our organization and local community; previously, 33% of membership dues were sent to the parent organization, Babywearing International.
We cannot guarantee that membership costs will not change in the future. We will, however, always have scholarships available if the cost of a membership is a barrier to anyone who wishes to become a member.
Q: Can I transfer my Babywearing International membership to another chapter?
A: If you obtained a membership under Babywearing International of the Twin Cities (before February 15, 2018) and it is still active, you can request your membership be transferred to another Babywearing International chapter.
Q: Will meeting locations or dates/times change?
A: No, we intend to continue all meetings as currently scheduled; meetings will continue to be subject to volunteer and location availability.
Q: Will meeting format change?
A: Meetings will continue to be around two hours long, allowing people to come and go as they wish while still receiving the same great care and support they have received in the past. If anything, you will notice that meetings will become more inclusive and welcoming as we operate as an independent babywearing group.
Q: Will there be any changes to carriers or lending libraries?
A: No, all assets of Babywearing International of the Twin Cities will be transferred to Babywearing Twin Cities. You will still be able to try on and check out the same great carriers that you have come to know and love in our lending libraries!
Baby Carrier Education
Q: How will educators be trained in an independent babywearing group?
A: Babywearing Twin Cities has developed a comprehensive curriculum and training program. Educators will be specialized in certain carrier types and skills, allowing more educators to be available to members at meetings while still maintaining a high level of expertise.
Educators who previously had Volunteer Babywearing Educator (VBE) training, assessments and status through Babywearing International will continue to receive ongoing training through Babywearing Twin Cities.
Q: Babywearing International of the Twin Cities had insurance through Babywearing International – will there be insurance as an independent group?
A: Yes – Babywearing Twin Cities has liability and loss insurance policies, and our volunteers and lending libraries will continue to be covered for liability and loss insurance going forward.
Q: Babywearing International of the Twin Cities remitted 30%+ of income from membership and fundraisers to Babywearing International. How does that change as an independent group?
A: Income from membership and fundraisers will stay 100% in our local community since we will no longer have oversight from a national organization. We are really excited for the possibilities this presents to our group! For example, we will be able to put more funds towards our lending libraries or towards community outreach and carriers we can donate to local groups and individuals.
Since we are no longer affiliated with Babywearing International, our group becomes eligible for more grants as an independent group, widening our ability to obtain funding.
Q: Will there still be a Facebook group?
A: Yes, we have renamed the existing closed Facebook group, and we will continue to provide the same support there as we do today.
Q: Will there still be a Facebook page?
A: Yes, we will continue to post important topics and announcements on our Facebook page and update the events tab there with meetings and other events.
Q: Will your website change?
A: Surprisingly, no! The web address, www.babywearingtwincities.org, will continue to serve our group going forward. The Babywearing International name and logo, however, will be updated to reflect our new group, Babywearing Twin Cities.
Q: How can I get in touch with you if I have questions?
A: We always have an open door. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org or message our Facebook Page at any time.
If you have any questions about babywearing, we encourage you to contact us and/or come learn in person at one of our meetings! Check out our Instagram @Babywearing.Twin.Cities and our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/BabywearingTwinCities/).
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