As you may know, BWI chapters were notified on August 17 that Babywearing International intended to file for bankruptcy and would cease to exist as of August 31, 2018. Although this news hit us hard and it was an emotional weekend, we also jumped into action. The current BWI Chicagoland leadership team (Board and all leaders) is committed to providing ongoing babywearing support in our community. The short turn around time and the necessity of ensuring every step met legal requirements were roadblocks, but we are working hard to navigate them efficiently and legally.
We have established a new non-profit organization recognized by the state of Illinois as a charitable organization: Chicagoland Babywearing (CLBW). We have also filed for 501(c)3 status (tax exempt status).
As of September 1, BWI Chicagoland will cease to exist. This group will become a group for Chicagoland Babywearing, an independent not for profit organization. This will also apply to instagram, twitter, and public page. We will have a new website: www.chicagolandbabywearing.org.
BWI Chicagoland is donating all assets to Chicagoland Babywearing so we will continue to operate with a lending library.
Current members of BWI Chicagoland will be rolled over to Chicagoland Babywearing. Current membership terms will be honored. Each member will receive a 1 month extension due to the current transition period of not allowing check-outs. Membership to Chicagoland Babywearing will be offered through a donation to our organization with the benefit of checking out a carrier every month. If you are currently a member in good standing in another BWI chapter, you can transfer your membership to Chicagoland Babywearing.
We intend to continue the Bash as planned and can use support through sponsors, attendees, and vendors!
August meetings will continue with hands-on help and no check-outs. September meetings will be carrier drop off meetings only for Northbrook, City North, Berweyn, and Brookfield. Schaumburg, Swedish, and Naperville will be on hold. We will be able to hold regular meetings again once we have insurance established for our new group. We have requested quotes from a couple options.
Unfortunately, our neighbors North Central IL and South Chicagoland will be closing as of August 31. Although we would love to support all babywearers in IL, we are unable to take on all of the current BWI groups. We will, however, be absorbing the NCIL Aurora meeting, resurrecting a South Elgin/Elgin meeting, and absorbing the South Chicagoland Oak Lawn meeting. As always, if you are interested in volunteering, please let us know!
Things to consider:
-If you list BWI Chicagoland as your Amazon Smile charity, please change it. We will let you know when the new one is updated.
-The biggest change is that 100% of membership payments will be able to stay in our local area rather than paying remittance to a National organization.
Thank you for our understanding, continued support, and dedication to helping the Chicagoland babywearing community.
Your BWI Chicagoland/Chicagoland Babywearing Board of Directors: Nikki Patrick Molly Scott Melinda Ciaccia Jackie McCabe Lynn Guerra Abigail Joy and leadership team.