Just because the refugee crisis in Europe and the Middle East isn’t dominating the front page of every newspaper at the moment doesn’t mean that it’s not a hugely pressing, alarming, and enduring human rights issue. And thankfully, there are still a number of organizations dedicated to helping the families who are affected most by this crisis, including one with humble roots. What began as a small campaign to send 100 baby carriers to refugee families has grown into a global grassroots action group of over 5,000 volunteers. California-based non-profit Carry the Future started by collecting new and used baby carriers for refugee families in Greece, where the founder has family members who help hand-deliver these much appreciated and very useful goods. While these baby carriers are still the main thrust of the organization, Carry the Future has made it easy to give in a number of ways to help fulfill a variety of refugee needs.
Anyone can donate a gently used, structured baby carrier (no slings, wraps, or pouches for the moment) or you can use the organization’s Amazon Prime Wish List to purchase a preferred carrier as well as a variety of other supplies. Another way to donate is through Carry the Future’s Indiegogo campaign; there’s even an option to provide small items like protein bars and toys that will be stuffed into the pockets of the carriers. You can also sponsor a relief pack, which contains crucial items such as emergency sleeping bags, protein bars, diapers and wipes, non-battery flashlights, and baby food. Or spread awareness and help support the grassroots organization by purchasing a Carry the Future shirt, tank, or sweatshirt. A portion of each purchase will go directly toward fulfilling Carry the Future’s mission.
So far about 7,000 baby carriers have already been donated, hand-delivered, and distributed to refugee families with 100 relief packs sponsored. With goals of handing out 30,000 baby carriers by the end of the first part of 2015, the organization has distribution trips lined up through 2016 and is constantly growing its legion of volunteers to hand-deliver the items and teach families how to properly use the carriers. On recent trips, numerous moms from the U.S. have traveled to help, and they and other volunteers instruct families (during the hectic two-minute period between when the boats arrive and the refugees are taken by bus to temporary camps) on the correct way to put on the carriers and tote their children. Founder and mother Cristal Logothetis says, “I think we can all agree, regardless of our beliefs, that children don’t deserve the situation they are in.” We’re thrilled that Carry the Future has provided tangible, approachable ways to help in this ongoing crisis. Check out their Facebook page for a real-time perspective from their current trip and the impact that this organization is making.
Images via Carry the Future’s Facebook page