Welcome! We wear babies....

We are BWI of Wichita Kansas.

We offer free monthly educational meetings where you can get hands on help from volunteer educators. We also host playdates and other outreach events each quarter.

Try on carriers from our lending library for free at meetings or take a carrier home each month with a $30 annual deductible membership.

All of our upcoming meetings and events are listed in the Events tab. We look forward to meeting you soon!

Monday, October 2, 2017

What Do You Get Out of a BWI of Wichita Membership?

This year for Babywearing International Week, we have a goal of increasing our membership and raising funds to accomplish more of our outreach goals.  When you become a member, you may be asking yourself "What exactly do I get out of giving you $30?"

Take a seat, because I am about to tell you why becoming a member of BWI of Wichita is totally awesome.
[Image Description: GIF from The Lego Movie of a lego person singing "Everything is awesome."]

1. You don't have to #buyallthecarriers.

We have two meetings each month. Our lending library contract allows members to borrow a carrier from the library a month at a time, but, for the ambitious, you could conceivably check out a carrier at all 24 meetings we hold in a calendar year. That's 24 carriers you can pet, cuddle, take selfies with, try and have fun with without buying it.  If you purchased that many carriers, you could easily drop a couple grand (not to mention the money you'll be spending on counseling because your spouse has had it up to here....) So $30 is totally a steal.

Even if you have your own carrier already, or even your own collection of baby carriers, its always fun to play with something different in our library. Try something new and fun without breaking the bank.

[Image description: Meme of a stick figure person screaming "Buy all the carriers."  ]
[Image description: Meme of a sad stick figure person saying "Buy all the carriers." ]

2. You are supporting your local chapter.

As an affiliated BWI chapter, we do remit a portion of all memberships to our national parent organization for the services it provides, including liability insurance (more on that later), but the vast majority of that money you give stays in Wichita to help Wichita caregivers. With your membership purchase, you are helping your neighbors, your friends, your family and your community. #WichitaProud

[Image description: Image of the flag of Wichita Kansas.]

3. You are helping other babywearers.

Remember that moment just before you found out what babywearing could do for you? Do you remember the moment immediately following it when babywearing helped you? Your continued support of this community resource ensures that we can continue doing that for others. This chapter began in 2010 (affiliated in 2013) and we want to be in this community forever.

[Image description: GIF of a man wearing mustache, police hat and glasses emphatically saying FOR-EV-ER. Scene from the film The Sandlot.]
4. You are making a difference in your community.

By becoming a member, you are investing in the education, outreach, and community-building that we do as an organization.   We use our library and time to spread information on safe babywearing practices and create awareness and support for babywearers in the Wichita metro and surrounding area. We're doing something important here.

We do this through outreach events (which often have vendor fees and volunteer travel costs), educational materials (printing costs), and other general costs that go along with non-profit mission work. All of these costs help further the mission of babywearing international, which is to make babywearing a universally accepted practice.

[Image description: GIF from the film Storks, a cartoon stork saying "Cool, cool, cool."]
5. You are ensuring the safety and education of your educators.

Did you know that all educators must go through a multi-step assessment of their skills and knowledge? Did you know that your VBEs are insured? A portion of your membership funds go towards the insurance premiums that keep your educators accountable and protected while they carry out their duties on behalf of BWI. This protects us and it protects you. The knowledge that every VBE must know to become accredited and insured ensure that you are receiving safe and accurate information about how to carry your most precious cargo.

[Image description: Willy Wonka meme with the text "Do tell me more about liability insurance."]

6. Your get more bang for your charitable buck.

Think about charitable donations you have made to other large organizations. How much of every donated dollar goes to overhead and salaries? How much of every dollar goes directly towards the organization mission?
BWI is a fairly large national organization. We have over 100 affiliated chapters, 1200 volunteers and 9400 members. It is estimated that BWI has reached an estimated 150,000 parents and caregivers nationwide. There is one person who receives a salary. ONE. Can other charitable organizations as large as BWI say the same?
Yes, we are able to accomplish a great deal of work purely on the power of the volunteer which means your cash money goes straight to making a difference. It buys carriers for those who can't afford one. It buys educational materials that can be handed out for free. It pays for meeting spaces so that we don't have to charge anyone for education who can't afford it. It pays for carriers that go directly into our lending library for you to use.

[Image description: GIF from the film Star Wars of Darth Vader saying "Most impressive"]
8. You are supporting a community and network of supporting caregivers.

We are not just here to lend out carriers and tell people about the Safety ABCs. We are here to support you. We are here to empower you. We are here to make you feel welcome. We are here so that you can finally say, this is it. This is my village.

[Image description: GIF from the animated film Despicable Me showing the Minions in a crowd cheering.]

9. You are making babywearing a universally accepted practice and accessible to all.

This is the crux of it. This is why we do what we do. We believe babywearing is quite possibly the most valuable skill in a caregiver's toolbox. We want to make sure EVERYONE knows what it is and how to do it. We want to spread that babywearing love. Your donation gives you the warm fuzzy feeling of knowing that you, too, are spreading the babywearing love. Giver yourself a high five.

[Image description: GIF of Tina Fey, a white woman with brown hair, giving herself a high five.]

Support our Chapter by Becoming a Member today!

Renew your membership! You can renew at any time and extend your membership by a year (so if you purchased a membership on January 1, 2017 and renewed it now, your membership would run through the end of December 2019).

Refer a friend! We don't exactly have the budget to take out a billboard ad along Kellogg. We survive on word of mouth and referrals. If you have loved what BWI of Wichita has offered you, please tell your friends, family and strangers at Target about how awesome we are.

Give a gift membership! You may have loved your Lillebaby but how do you if your cousin's friend's sister will like it too? BWI membership makes an excellent gift for an expecting friend or relative. We provide a gift certificate and the membership can be activated when the recipient chooses. If you don't personally know anyone imminently needing to wear any children, consider purchasing a membership in our Pay-it-Forward program. Individuals who may need, but are unable to afford, the $30 membership can receive one for free from you.

And finally, you don't have to buy a membership at all to support this chapter. Consider making a tax deductible donation! We can accept donations in any amount via PayPal or by cash or check at a meeting or we have a wish list of carriers that we could use for the lending library if you prefer to make an in-kind donation. (Note: donations do not come with membership benefits.) There are also numerous other ways you can support our chapter.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

International Babywearing Week 2017: Threaded Together

International Babywearing Week is here! We have got some awesome stuff lined up for you folks next week. Below is our schedule of events:

We have conveniently put here our Facebook Calendar of Events. Join the ones you plan to attend so you can receive notifications about announcements and reminders and so we can get an accurate head count.

But wait, there's more! This year we will end the week with a prize opportunity drawing. We have some super cool stuff to give way, the top prizes being these two beautiful wove wraps from LaLu Wovens, each valued at just under $200 retail. I repeat, you could WIN a woven wrap! This is not a drill!

Where do I buy my tickets to enter, you may ask? No raffle ticket purchase necessary. This is an opportunity drawing. Which means there are multiple ways in which you can earn an entry for an equal opportunity to win a prize. Here's how:

1. Attend in-person IBW events!

Receive a raffle entry for each event you attend. One entry per adult in attendance at each event.

2. Participate in online IBW games!

Receive a raffle entry for each online game in our chatter group that you participate in. Winners of any online contests will also receive an additional entry.

3. Double your chances with a BWI membership!

New memberships or renewals receive a second entry. There is no limit on membership purchases so if you renew a membership and buy a second as a gift for your cousin's coworker's niece who's have a baby, you will receive FOUR entries.

4. Refer a friend

If your friend becomes a new member during IBW, you can receive an extra entry (and your friend gets 2 for joining!)

5. Make a donation in any amount to BWI of Wichita

No donation is too small! Limit one total donation based entry per person, regardless of donation amount. http://www.paypal.me/bwiwichita

6. Purchase some gear from our TeePublic store 

Make your purchase between 9/15/2017 and 10/8/2017 and you will receive an entry. Limit one entry per person.

7. Shop AmazonSmile with BWI of Wichita as the recipient charity during IBW.

Show us your proof of purchase and receive an entry! Email proof of purchase to wichita@babywearinginternational.org to be entered. Receipt must show date/time of purchase and that it is an AmazonSmile purchase with BWI of Wichita listed as the recipient charity. Limit one entry per person. https://smile.amazon.com/ch/46-1063084

All entrants must be at least 18 to win. All contests will close at 9:00 pm on October 8, 2017. Raffle winners will be chosen at random on October 9, 2017, and will be notified via email.  You do not need to be present to win. Prizes not claimed/picked up by October 16, 2017, will be considered forfeit by winner.

To enter, fill out this Google form each time you complete one of the above qualifying items. You must have all your entries submitted by the 9:00 pm October 8 deadline.  All entries based on attendance and participation will be verified and submissions that cannot be verified will be removed from the drawing. Each online submission will be assigned a number based on order of submission. Numbers will be printed on paper tickets and drawn from a bucket to choose winners. 

Get out there and win some cool stuff! More importantly, we want to see your happy, shiny faces. That's why we do what we do. Come support and celebrate babywearing with BWI of Wichita.

If you want to join in on the International level, stop by the official International Babywearing Week website to see how others around the world are celebrating.

[IMAGE DESCRIPTION: Meme of a stick figure person wearing a baby on its back screaming "wear all the babies."]

Thursday, September 14, 2017

International Babywearing Week 2017: Call for Donations

October 2-8, 2017, Worldwide: International Babywearing Week is an annual week-long campaign dedicated to celebrating, promoting awareness of, and advocating for the many benefits of babywearing through local and online celebrations, media awareness, and educational activities. Through this event, we hope to promote babywearing as a universally accepted practice that benefits caregivers and children. It is also an opportunity to fund raise so that we can further our primary mission through continued education and outreach. The theme for International Babywearing Week's ninth annual celebration is: Threaded Together. The inspiration from the theme comes from the many different threads that come together to form textiles and the weaving process for all of the carriers we use. All of these individual threads, once woven, create a material in the same way  individuals and groups worldwide come together to create a global babywearing community.

[Image Description: The “Threaded Together” logo is composed of three human figures in orange, light blue and dark blue. They are holding hands and look like they are made from one thread that also creates a circle making a border around them shifts in the same colors. Underneath the circle, read the words “Threaded Together.”]
This year for IBW, BWI of Wichita, will be hosting several online and in-person activities throughout the week culminating in an opportunity drawing for some great prizes.  We want to make this year's IBW a smashing success and to do that, we need your assistance.  We are looking for individuals and businesses who are willing to donate their services or products to be used as prizes for our fundraisers and opportunity drawing.

If you are not in a position to contribute, that's okay! You can help us tremendously by spreading the word far and wide. You, the community we serve, are some of our greatest advocates! We are looking for the following:
  • Photographer services (mini sessions or full family portrait sessions), to be used as a prize and/or as its own fundraising activity
  • Other professional services that may be of interest to child caregivers (eg. massage services, babysitting services, salon services, children's classes or activities)
  • Tickets or gift cards to area attractions and activities
  • Gift cards to local restaurants and retailers (preferably child/baby related)
  • Gift baskets or items from home-based businesses
  • Handmade craft items (blankets, stuffed animals, booties, etc.)  
Please consider donating your time and support to Babywearing International of Wichita. Your donations are tax deductible and go towards the wonderful (and FREE) education we offer in the community.  We believe passionately in the work that we do and appreciate your continued support in helping us gain the resources to do it.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

2017 World Breastfeeding Week: Nursing While Babywearing

Some of you may already be aware that August 1 - 7, 2017 is World Breastfeeding Week. WBW is annually sponsored by World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action, which according to its website, is a global network of organizations whose mission is to protect, promote and support breastfeeding worldwide. For the 25th year of World Breastfeeding Week, we wanted to discuss how babywearing can help you on your breastfeeding journey.

World Breastfeeding Week logo

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Beat the Heat in Kansas While Babywearing

It's that time of year again, with the average temps in the 90's, humidity at 100% and the Great Plains weather is.... well, not so great. But you can't hide in the air conditioning forever! Those little ones are going to want to get outside and go to the zoo, the splash pad or the park. Do you know everything you need to know about baby wearing in warm weather? If not, read on!