December's How I LIVE UNITED: Volunteer

Each month, we spotlight someone from our community who is LIVING UNITED by choosing to Give, Advocate or Volunteer.

How I LIVE UNITED - Maurine Miles, Welcome Baby Volunteer Nearly three years ago, Maurine Miles began as a volunteer for United Way of Utah County's Welcome Baby program; now, Miles serves as a mentor and supervisor for program volunteers. Welcome Baby is a home visitation program that pairs new mothers with a once-a-month visitor who teaches them about their child's development, community resources for parenting and activities to encourage proper development. The program is designed to promote a healthy, secure and enjoyable beginning for parents, new babies and their families.

"It's too bad that all new moms don't join the program because there's so much they can learn about interacting with their babies," Miles said. Miles has worked with about 15 different families since she began volunteering as a visitor in January 2008. "It makes me happy to think that I might be helping somebody when I see a mom learn or become more comfortable with something," Miles said. "I remember how scary it was to be a new mom, and I want to help others who are there. I also love the babies, and its fun to interact with the mothers."

Miles visited a mother and father from India after the birth of their first child. She said it was especially fun to meet with the mother because she was so excited about the things she was learning. The father was also so excited about the information provided that he would try to be there for the visits as well.

Through the course of her volunteer work with Welcome Baby, Miles has had as many as six families she was visiting at a time. Miles has greatly appreciated her experiences with Welcome Baby, as well as the training she has received. "It's a wonderful opportunity, and you get training that you can share with friends, neighbors and family," Miles said. "It's a great way to stay in touch with families and what's going on in the community. It's good to learn, and anybody who's volunteered knows that it's a neat experience. Money can't pay you for what you feel."

If you are interested in becoming a Welcome Baby volunteer, contact Barbara at 801-691-5304 or visit www.unitedwayuc.org/welcomebaby for more information. For additional volunteer opportunities, dial 2-1-1 or visit www.unitedwayuc.org.

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