A Rewarding Contribution
Inspired by this Story?LEAD A PEPS GROUP
Volunteers are an extraordinary part of PEPS - mothers & fathers deeply rooted in the PEPS community and passionate about supporting new parents.
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I think it makes such a big difference for parents to have a consistent, welcoming and supportive community during those first fragile months.
Wendy Wray, a PEPS Volunteer
Laughter fills the room. The first few weeks it's nervous laughter as 10 new families tentatively venture out on a Tuesday evening with their tiny newborns. Soon, we hear knowing chuckles of parents bonding as they relate their own experiences, and concerns to stories told by their friends. Later, baby laughter fills the circle as the newborns who initially dozed in buckets and carriers, are now alert and soaking in the warmth of this extended family.
These are the sounds of a PEPS group coming together over a 12-week session, and one of the visceral reasons I keep returning as a volunteer facilitator.
I first experienced PEPS when our son, Winston, was 5 months old and we enrolled in Baby Peppers. New to Seattle, PEPS eased our transition by establishing friendships, giving me confidence that the sleep and feeding issues we still faced were entirely normal and unveiling a wealth of local resources and great activities Winston and I could enjoy together. Six months later, I volunteered to lead my first PEPS newborn group.
I find volunteering with PEPS to be an incredibly rewarding way to contribute to our local parenting community. We struggled with so many things those first few months, and in a PEPS group I see parents sharing these challenges instead of trying to figure out everything on their own. As a facilitator, I set the tone, bring a bit of information and guide the group as they answer their own questions and meet each others needs. It's incredibly satisfying to see parents truly begin to trust their instincts and discover that they are great parents. Leading PEPS groups makes me a better parent too, as so many of the same challenges return in different ways as our kids grow.
I feel incredibly fortunate and proud to be a PEPS volunteer group leader because I think it makes such a big difference for parents to have a consistent, welcoming and supportive community during those first fragile months. I love seeing groups come together, watching the parents relax, grow and stay laughing together long after those first 12 weeks.