What is the mission of Lift Me Up: Babywearing to Thrive?
Lift Me Up is a non-profit organization that provides ergonomic babywearing carriers to families who have children with special needs. Babywearing is a wonderful therapeutic tool that can benefit not only the child with a developmental need, but can also be beneficial to the caregiver. Our goal is to offer this tool to as many qualified families as possible, thereby spreading the gift of babywearing to new places. Click here to read more about how babywearing can benefit children with special needs.
What is babywearing?
Babywearing is holding baby close in a cloth wrap or soft carrier. Holding babies is a natural instinct, and ‘wearing’ your baby allows you to have that closeness even while you’re accomplishing other tasks and need your hands free. This can provide an unparalleled level of convenience to a caregiver that has multiple children, and especially to a family who has a child with special needs that might have extra challenges throughout their day. Please go here to learn more about babywearing and the many benefits it provides![
How can I donate and where does the money go?
You can make a donation directly on our website. Lift Me Up, Inc is a 501c3, which means all donations are tax deductible. Since we are volunteers, every dollar you donate goes directly towards providing carriers for families who have children with special needs. When you make a contribution, consider asking your employer if they would be willing to match your donation.
Who can apply for a carrier?
Any family with a child that has special needs, who does not already own an ergonomically correct carrier, can apply. The child to be worn does not necessarily have to be the child with special needs. For example, a 10 year old diagnosed with cerebral palsy has a 6 month old baby brother. The family may apply for a carrier for the 6 month old in order to continue to have hands free for assisting the 10 year old with cerebral palsy. For more information about who can apply and which diagnoses we accept, continue reading here on our blog post.
Please note that our mission is to spread the benefits of babywearing to new families, so if you already own an ergonomic carrier, please do not apply. Also, if you have filled out an application and, in the time it takes for us to process your application, you have received a carrier from another source, please let us know! This will allow us to provide carriers to more families. We are a non-profit organization with limited resources, and we appreciate your assistance and your honesty in this matter.
How do I apply?
If you meet the qualifications, please go to our website and fill out an application here.
Can I nominate a family to receive a carrier?
No, you cannot nominate a family to receive a carrier from Lift Me Up. We gather so much specific information from each family, that we need the caregiver themselves to fill out our application completely. We also need to be in contact with them personally to get more information so we can choose the appropriate carrier for them if they qualify.
The best thing you can do for a family that you think qualifies for a free carrier is tell them about Lift Me Up. Share our facebook page and our website with them, and encourage them to fill out an application if they do not already own a carrier.
How long does the process take to receive a carrier?
We process each application in the order it was received, but the time it takes for each qualified family to receive their carrier can vary. This is because it depends on the type of carrier that is needed for the specific child, and if we have that carrier available. Sometimes certain carriers take longer to get in stock, and sometimes specific carriers that are needed are more costly and we rely on donations to help us purchase the carriers.
Also, please remember that we are volunteers. We are three mamas that have families, jobs, and busy lives. We are devoting a
large enormous amount of time making the vision of Lift Me Up become a reality, and it’s happening quickly! We are spending hours every day responding to emails, keeping up with your wonderful facebook posts and comments, processing applications, connecting with companies, raising funds, and shipping out carriers to families. We ask that you please be patient as we are doing our best to serve you.
How can I help speed up the application process?
We’re so glad you asked! You can help speed up the process by filling out the application completely. Please check each field twice and be especially sure to fill out your FULL mailing address and type your email address completely and correctly. When we spend time responding to applicants in order to get these incomplete answers corrected, it takes time away from us choosing carriers for applicants, raising funds, and shipping out carriers.
Also, if you have a question about Lift Me Up, please read through these FAQ’s first- just like you are doing now. Thank you! We love hearing your comments, questions, and concerns through facebook and email, but it will help us out if you check here in the FAQ section first to see if your question has already been answered.
Do you accept used carriers as donations?
No, we do not accept used carriers as donations. We only distribute new-in-package carriers. We want to be certain that each carrier we provide meets the current safety standards and is a new special gift to you.
We do accept donations of new-in-package ergonomic carriers. Each carrier must contain the manufacturer’s instructions and registration card. If you have a new-in-package carrier to donate to Lift Me Up, please email us at [email protected]
If you would like to use your used carrier to benefit Lift Me Up, then we ask that you sell it (there is a very large market for used carriers, you can find swap pages on social media and of course www.thebabywearer.com) and we’d be so appreciative of any funds that you donate to us from the sale of your carrier. That would be a HUGE help to us!
Do you make your own carriers?
No, we do not make the carriers. We are members of the Baby Carrier Industry Alliance, and we only offer ergonomic carriers that follow the latest consumer product safety standards.
What kind of babywearing carriers do you provide?
We provide various types of ergonomic babywearing carriers including ring slings, woven wraps, mei tais, and soft structured carriers. We only distribute new carriers that meet all of the latest safety standards.
Where do you get the carriers that you distribute to families?
We get the carriers that we provide to families in several different ways. First of all, we fundraise. When you see us selling t-shirts or asking for donations, that money goes directly to purchasing carriers for the qualified families that have applied. Sometimes we also get donations of ergonomic carriers from very generous companies. This is extremely helpful, but we still need your financial support to be able to purchase carriers when we are lacking carrier donations. Also, many times we have to buy specialized carriers for older children with special needs. These types of carriers are not donated as often, so most of our costs go to purchasing those carriers that are appropriate for larger children. We also accept new-in-package carriers as donations (each carrier must include the manufacturer’s instructions and registration card).
How do you decide which family gets which kind of carrier?
It would be an understatement to say we spend a lot of time pouring over applications. Through the application process, we find out the necessary information about each specific family. We learn about the age and size of the child that is to be worn, the diagnosis of the child who has special needs, and any unique circumstances that each family might have. One of the co-founders of Lift Me Up, Sarah, is a doctor of physical therapy who specializes in pediatrics. She personally contacts each family, learns about their needs, and with her expertise we choose the appropriate ergonomic carrier that will benefit each individual family.
What do you include in the package along with the carrier?
Along with the new ergonomic carrier and the manufacturer’s instructions, we include BCIA safety information and information on babywearing meetings that are local to each individual recipient.
Do you keep up with families you have served after they receive their carriers?
Yes! One of our favorite parts of Lift Me Up is hearing from families who we have been able to help. 30 days after each family has received their carrier from us, we send them a follow-up form. This is how we learn how babywearing has helped their family, what therapeutic benefits they have seen so far, and how we can better serve families in the future. We also love seeing pictures of families we have served, so if you have received a carrier from Lift Me Up, please share photos with us! You can post on our facebook wall, or tag us on Instagram and Twitter (@liftmeupbaby). You can also email your photos to us at [email protected] Please share your story with us and tell us how Lift Me Up has helped your family!
Who is behind the scenes of Lift Me Up?
Lift Me Up was created by three mamas who wish to share with others the overall benefits and practicality that babywearing provides. Sarah fell in love with the health benefits of babywearing as a pediatric physical therapist. Kristin needed babywearing as a support for survival being a mom to four small children, two of which were immobile at the same time. Rachel embraced babywearing as a special way to bond with her son and make everyday life with small children less physically challenging. Collectively we have 9 little boys, a passion for babywearing, and love for children with special needs. You can read more about us here.
How do you mamas do it?! Do you have any help?
It's true, we spend a LOT of time making Lift Me Up the organization it is- we work faithfully and tirelessly to keep it running smoothly while we handle the rapid growth we've experienced. We are fortunate to have very supportive husbands and families that are a large part in making this mission come to life.
Update: During the fall of 2014, just a few months after launching Lift Me Up, we have been blessed by bringing on a few volunteers to help with our mission. We spend SO many hours running this organization: reading applications, returning dozens of emails on a daily basis, communicating with applicants and recipient families, connecting with businesses and sponsors, organizing fundraisers, connecting with YOU amazing folks on our blog and social media, balancing our books, packaging and shipping carriers... we knew we needed one thing- HELP! We now have a few wonderful and faithful supporters who assist us with tasks such as managing our Facebook forum support group and packaging carriers that are ready to be shipped to families. These volunteers have been a wonderful addition to Lift Me Up, as we are 3 mamas who are still learning the one thing that moms have the hardest time accepting- we can't do it all ourselves!
Where is Lift Me Up located?
We are based in Maryland, USA.
Do you serve to families outside of the United States?
Update: As of November 2014, we have expanded to serve Canada and U.S. Territories!
Although we only recently launched Lift Me Up in April 2014, we are growing quickly and working hard to provide carriers to as many qualified families as possible. Please follow along on our journey because it is our goal to eventually be able to serve ALL families across the globe. We need your support to get there!
How can I help?
There are several ways you can help Lift Me Up: Babywearing to Thrive fulfill our mission. First of all, help us spread the word! There are so many families who have children with special needs that could benefit from babywearing. We want to serve them! Please share about us on facebook, twitter, and instagram
@liftmeupbaby. You can even share our Pinterest board!
You can also support Lift Me Up by shopping on Amazon. Choose Lift Me Up, Inc as your charity on Amazon Smile. Remember- every time you shop, go through smile.amazon.com (not just amazon.com) and Amazon will make a donation for each purchase you make!
If you can give financially, please consider it. We truly appreciate donations of all sizes. We are a non-profit organization wholly run by volunteers, and we count on donations in order to provide carriers for qualified families. You can donate directly on our website. All donations are tax deductible as we are a 501c3. Don’t forget to ask your employer if they will match your donation. Click here to see how each dollar helps!
If you would like to donate a new-in-box ergonomic carrier, please email us at [email protected] New carrier donations must include the manufacturer’s instructions and registration card. If you have a used carrier that you aren’t using, please consider selling it (there are many social media swap sites along with thebabywearer.com, a wonderful forum for selling carriers) and contributing proceeds to Lift Me Up through our donation page. We appreciate these acts of kindness and generosity so much, and every dollar goes to helping families who have children with special needs.
How can I get a Lift Me Up t-shirt?
Our online store is open! Just click on SHOP and you can purchase all of your favorite Lift Me Up gear! All proceeds go directly to providing carriers to families who have children with special needs. Also, keep a close eye on our Facebook page and our blog, as we often have t-shirt fundraisers where you can get limited edition shirts and other gear!