Hello from the other side… 2016!! The hustle and bustle of the Holiday Season has passed and we are now almost a whole month into 2016, but before we go any further, I want to quickly talk about 2015. It was a helluva year. To kind of give you and us an idea of the kind of things that we like to review, we’re going to follow much the same format from 2014’s Year In Review Post.
Membership and Meetings:
We’re just going to rename this section: #wearallthebabies … because we did. We had 271 people add or renew their membership with our organization. There were 2,115 baby wearers helped at one of our FOUR monthly meetings.
Social Media and Outreach:
Good thing this is written media, the shear volume of our outreach events this year is impressive (and would likely leave me gasping for air to read aloud). In 2015 we did: The Baby Bash/Toddler Jam, The Great Cloth Diaper Change, a babywearing photo shoot with Cloverbud Photography, Central Texas Birth Center, hosted stash chats at Baby Earth Round Rock, Partnered at the Partners in Parenting Picnic (see what I did there?), Attended the New Braunfels Kidfest, Produced our July Marketing Extravaganza in conjunction with local artisans and community partners, Volunteered at Latch On, Attended the Round Rock Express Game, and the Birth Without Fear Playdate!
We also partnered with Hike it Baby to do not 1, not 2, but three separate “Hiking and Babywearing 101” classes. An admitted non-hiker, I really enjoyed them and learned something. Also, the organization hosted a free community-wide swap. The bring what you have and take what you want rules really allowed us to welcome people from all walks of life (and gave our KonMaried items a place to spark joy).
The icing on our Outreach cake is always our International Babywearing Week culmination. We had a tremendous carnival this year with many of our community partners. We had the largest turn out of any year in large part to the leadership and dedication of Katie.
Uhm… what about the blog that you are reading? I am shocked and humbled at the kind of year we had. Did you know this little blog started out as a creative writing outlet and celebrated it’s 2 year blogiversary and gets almost 8,000 hits a month? Last year, we had lots of success with a post on my thoughts on the end of babywearing and the universal truth that… Babywearing is Selfish. We added edu-blogger extrodinaire, Katie, and she has given us some amazing content (waterwearing being one of my personal favs)!
This section makes me particularly proud because Outreach was our focus as an organization this year. Babywearing is just a caregiving tool like all others, and it can’t help people who don’t know about it. We would not be the organization that we are without the outreach that is done through formalized means (outings, tables, events), but most importantly is the sharing via word of mouth among care-takers. Thank you for sharing our organization, blog, or (2600 person!!) discussion group with your fellow care-takers. Word of mouth is always how most people find us!
Administration and Accreditations:
We currently have 49 volunteers and we added 11 NEW educators this year: Alys, Bethany, Elena, Ginny, Hannah, Laura, Lola, Olena, Maddie, Marie, and Tess!!
Additionally, Autumn and Katie leveled up, becoming ABEs! Congrats, ladies!
We also found a way to accredit the volunteers behind the scenes this year. With help from BWI National, the CSV (Chapter Support Volunteer) position was born and we’ve added 9 official CSVs this year: Jessica, Kate, Marina, Rose, Tori, Jeran, Taryn, Cynthia, and Lenny. These volunteers help us run this giant organization in other avenues besides teaching. They are the wheels that keep this party rolling!
In 2015, we had 1,726 rentals from our library. Wow. Just… WOW!
We added a North and South Liberian and acquired close to 100 new carriers! Our lending library continues to be impressive with close to 300 carriers! #wearallthebabies… in rented carriers!!
We take it for granted that so many of our leaders here in Central Texas are just awesome. The truth is that we are privileged by their knowledge and Lori decided to bring together some of the great babywearing educator minds of the state to the Texas Babywearing Educator Retreat. It was an incredible undertaking, but Lori made it happen. The result was that educators throughout Texas were able to attend (in our lovely local Austin) and learn from all of our strengths. This falls under all the categories above and just one of the shining examples of what our community can put together.
2015 was an incredible year, largely in part to YOU Central Texas Babywearer! We can’t wait to see what 2016 has in store!!!