Volunteers: Serving our Community's Fragile Infants
Volunteers hold a special place in the heart of Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas. They step in to assist staff in the busiest of times, keeping the milk bank running smoothly and helping in all areas - from assembling educational and outreach materials to logging in new milk donations.
Many people volunteer at MMBNT on their own, but oftentimes the milk bank hosts groups who want to give back to their community. The Junior League of Fort Worth is one of MMBNT’s most steady supporters. Each year, the organization assigns a group of members to the milk bank, and those volunteers spend the year working on projects to further MMBNT’s mission. Laura Mitchell, the team lead for this year’s group of Junior League volunteers, says her role as a mother helps her value her time at the milk bank even more.
“I have a longing to serve and help other mothers and their babies,” she said. When her best friend’s baby spent time in the NICU right after birth, Laura got a call from her friend and learned the baby received donor milk. Because of Laura’s time at and knowledge of MMBNT, her friend knew more about donor milk and where it came from.
“Big, important, life-changing things are happening at the milk bank and I am honored to be a part of it all,” Laura added.
Sometimes, MMBNT hosts corporate groups during company-wide days of service. Liberty Mutual’s Serve with Liberty program is a prime example: every spring, Liberty employees donate their time and effort to a variety of local nonprofits. Yuri Edwards has chosen the milk bank as her placement for the past two years. She likes volunteering at MMBNT because of her own experience as a mother.
When Yuri gave birth to her son five years ago in Louisiana, she met a mother in the recovery unit with her whose baby passed away while in the NICU. “I feel like if there was a milk bank back home in Louisiana* at the time, that baby would have had a better chance at life and that has stuck with me,” she said. The experience gave her a deeper appreciation for breastmilk and her own ability to breastfeed.
“I feel extremely blessed to have been able to produce breastmilk and breastfeed my son for so long,” Yuri said. “If my volunteering educates at least one mother to donate and save some precious little babies, I will do it every single time with no hesitation.”
Staff at Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas are incredibly appreciative of the organization’s volunteers. No matter how volunteers find the milk bank, they share a passion for the mission and a desire to help the most fragile in our community.
*Mothers’ Milk Bank of Louisiana recently opened in New Orleans. For a full list of nonprofit milk banks in North America, click here.