Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Can I donate my old carrier?

Recently we've had a lot of people asking if we accept gently used carrier donations and the answer is an unqualified "yes, absolutely!"  I wanted to say a huge "thank you" to everyone who has donated and share a little bit about how your donations are used by our group.

Lending Library

Some donations go straight into our lending library!  We do have some limits on what carriers we put into our library (we tend to stick with current models of easily accessible and budget-friendly carriers, and only keep enough for our current needs and expected future growth) but we're almost always in need of ring slings, mei tais, soft structured carriers (depending on brand), woven wraps, ultra-compact carriers, and water carriers.  

Teaching Library

In addition to our lending library we have a non-circulating library of teaching carriers that we use for our educator training, 101 classes, and for demonstrations at meetings.  Teaching carriers include all of the same carriers we have in the lending library as well as things like newborn kangaroo care shirts, traditional carriers, pouch slings, etc.  

Other Donations

Donated carriers that we do not need for one of our libraries will be passed along to parents in need through one of our non-profit/community organization partnerships (such as The Carrying On Project, a local non-profit providing baby carriers to military families) or sold/traded to benefit the group.  If you know of an organization that could benefit from receiving gently used baby carriers please let us know, we're always looking for partnerships!

What Can't We Accept?

Carriers we judge to be unsafe (recalled, counterfeit, bag slings, etc.) will be destroyed or permanently marked "not for use by human infant" and kept as teaching tools.  Unfortunately at this time we cannot accept DIY or homemade baby carriers.  We have limited demand for inexpensive front pack carriers (Infantino, Evenflo, Snuggli, etc.) but gladly accept Baby Bjorns especially the more ergonomic models with waist belts.  

As a 501(c)3 non-profit educational organization we are able to offer tax receipts for donations that we retain for library use.  If you're interested in receiving a tax receipt please contact us before donating to ensure it is something we can use, otherwise feel free to bring carriers to any meeting and we will be glad to accept them!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Late Start 6/8 Meeting

Important Announcement for the 6/8 Monday Meeting (tomorrow).  Due to unforeseen circumstances the meeting will begin at 10:30 not 10:00.  See you all tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

How to Wash a Library Carrier

We have recently updated our library policies.  You can read the full set of policies here but we wanted to share some information on the biggest change: washing carriers.

BWI of Central Virginia library carriers are now required to be returned clean and ready to be lent out again at the same meeting they are returned to.

In the past we have been able to handle laundering carriers occasionally as a courtesy to members but we have experienced phenomenal growth in the past year and we now need to reduce the burden on our volunteers and keep carriers in circulation without delays.

So, how to wash a library carrier!

First, if the carrier isn't dirty you do not need to wash it.  Use your best judgement--would you feel comfortable letting a friend borrow the carrier without washing it?  If so, you're probably good to go.

However, if you used your carrier heavily, if it has dust, dirt, food, sweat, animal hair, or drool on it please wash your carrier prior to returning.  Remember, carriers should never be exposed to smoke (tobacco, bonfires, etc.).  Removable suck pads are available to check out with soft structured carriers and mei tais if you have a child who likes to chew on ssc straps.

All of our carriers may be washed on the delicate cycle with cold water or by hand using an unscented liquid detergent (we recommend Ecos but any "Free and Clear" detergent is ok--please do not use Dreft) and tumble dried on low or hung to dry.  We recommend machine drying for wraps and other soft fabric carriers and air drying for soft structured carriers.  A sock over the rings of a ring sling will help reduce the noise in your washer or dryer.

If you have any questions about how to launder your carrier or if you do not feel comfortable please contact us before returning your carrier.  We may charge a cleaning fee depending on the circumstances.