As we are transitioning to Austin Babywearing, I have no doubt you have seen our group talking memberships. International Babywearing Week is upon us and a great chance to renew or become a member!
So, WHY should you become a member. I’m so glad you asked.
The Benefits to Becoming an Austin Babywearing Member!
1. You get to try out different carriers without buying allthecarriers.
Wallets Rejoice!! On carriers, I spend an average of… er, we won’t go there, it’s a lot more than $30. For $30, you get to BORROW carriers ALL YEAR LONG. If you borrow a carrier each month- 12 times- it’s $2.50 each rental. AND what kind of carrier are you going to find for $30 that will last you all year, allow you to exchange it at will, and it changes with the season? Nope. None.
Speaking of lending libraries…
2. The VAST MAJORITY of your membership fee goes to buying carriers for your LOCAL lending library.
Yeah, there are always SOME administrative costs, like business cards and website hosting, but really, that’s it. This is a labor of LOVE for the people doing it so everything is donated/volunteered. Even after you factor in my immense blog-writing salary ($0), the administrative costs are minimal. And that’s not all, we work to make sure your money goes FAR. We shamelessly ask for donations and discounts. Perhaps you have even heard how we are willing to go to war. Yep, that’s true, too. BUT it can only be done with your membership dues.
3. You’re One of Us, Now!!
A few years(!!!) ago, I blogged about how we are building a community beyond just worn babies. We are. <Drops Mic>
<Frantically picks Mic up… Ok, I’m really not that cool>
Yes, all those soft squishy thing I wrote about weeks ago REALLY happen. These moms REALLY support you and we are here because of babywearing, but that is just the start. With your membership dues, you are saying,
“I support you guys and I’m here, in your group, to stay for at least a year so that I can get my $30 worth.”
We appreciate that.
4. You membership dues help us reach out to the community.
You are giving back to your community. By becoming a member of Austin Babywearing, you invest in the education, outreach, and community-building that we do as an organization. We use our library and time to share babywearing practices and create awareness and support for babywearers throughout the Austin area and beyond! It’s not just about renting carriers for yourself, we’re doing something big here.
My favorite story to illustrate this point is one that I saw in a small national mom’s group. The mother lives in a rural area and people in her community started mocking her for babywearing.
There were a lot of hurtful things said that don’t need to be repeated, but one was, “look at her throwing the fact that she can’t afford a stroller in our faces.” Yeah, that was actually said OUT LOUD to this Mama. Repeatedly. Austin Babywearing helps normalize using a baby carrier and reach out and inform people.
In this same mom’s group, I have another friend who has never seen someone else using a carrier in real life. That leads me to the next point…
5. Your membership dues help us wear allthebabies!
We know the advantages of babywearing (because I’m preaching to the choir), but do you remember that moment? That second that you realized that you COULD chase your toddler while nursing your newborn. That you COULD leave the house, make a cup of coffee, check your email, or even SHOWER because of babywearing?
Your membership helps normalize using a carrier for the community, yes, but it also helps inform AND EMPOWER the individual caregiver. That’s a lot of traction from $30!
6. Your Donations go to make sure Austin Babywearing is insured.
Well, this one may not seem particularly sexy to you, but it is a HUGE deal to me. Confession Alert: I’m an attorney that does insurance litigation.
You: Oh, so you would help defend us if some crazy person sued us.
Me: Yeah, I’ve done that, but I’m REALLY more the type to sue for injuring others.
You: *Gasp* Like an ambulance chaser??
Me: Yeah, but without ambulances… or chasing. I have two car seats in a Prius, yo!
It matters to me that Austin Babywearing as an organization is responsible and professional enough to understand that an organization this large needs training… and insurance, just in case. I think it’s the MOST responsible thing that Austin Babywearing does and I am proud that some of our membership dues go to insuring our incredibleorganization. As an attorney, it allows me to professionally respect this organization. As a parent, it shows that they really care about the well-being of our babies.
7. Your membership dues allow us to give back to the community.
Make no mistake about it. Austin Babywearing is a labor of LOVE. Volunteers spend a LOT of hours making sure meetings, financials, insurance, logistics, trainings, and carriers are all handled appropriately before you even step in the door of a meeting. The ENTIRE experience is about giving back to the community through education and volunteerism, but we go above and beyond that. We strive to be true partners in our community regularly going out into the community and sharing this passion of ours with other community organizations. Without your membership, that would not be possible. Pat yourself on the back if you’re already a member. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
9. Austin Babywearing is a great steward of your money.
News flash, this is an organization of volunteers. No one is paid. We open up our homes to train new volunteers, drive throughout the city with our gas, and go above and beyond to find accessible and yet reasonably priced locations for our events. The money is spread… far. Here is a list of things that also cost approximately $30:
2 elmo balloons.
5 Cups of coffee at Starbucks
1 Traffic Cone
A roast (uncooked)
Roughly 1/3 of your average carrier.
A set of dog shoes (size small only).
One sleep sack for baby.
Basically, your membership dues are our lifeline. Your $30 goes unbelievably far.
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