The world was shocked and saddened when the picture of a dead little boy on the beach splashed across headlines.
I know I felt helpless as social media bombarded me with emotionally charged posts regarding the atrocities occurring in distant lands. Here I was safe in Canada, while families lost everything including many of their loved ones.
If you saw a parent struggling to hold their child would you help? Would you ask if they needed assistance or would you just watch as they tried to manage? So many images we see show little ones being carried in the arms of family members. They are tired and hungry; they are on long and arduous journeys. There is so much uncertainty to their futures. What if you could make their journey just a bit more comfortable?
One mom from California was inspired to help the refugees by donating baby carriers. What a brilliant way to make a difference in these weary travellers’ lives. What started out as a grassroots effort has spread to include so many people wanting to ease the suffering of others during this difficult time in the world.
Carry the Future is accepting new and used carrier donations, as well as financial contributions to cover the cost of sending the carriers to Europe for distribution by volunteers to refugee families.
FAQ’s ON BABY CARRIERS FOR REFUGEES:
Q: Do refugees really benefit from baby carriers?
A: Absolutely! We personally distribute the carriers in Greece and fit each parent and baby to ensure the carriers are properly fitted and used safely. We are already getting reports of refugees making it safely to Germany wearing their babies, so we know it’s working!
Q: What sort of baby carriers can I donate?
A: Please send us your gently used Soft Structured Carriers (SSCs). These are basically any carrier that has clasps or harnesses, and Mei Teis (square cloth with four ties). Our favorites are Baby Bjorn, Kolcraft, MobyGo, Mei Teis, Tulla and Ergo, but we accept all brands of SSCs.
Q: Why don’t you accept wraps, slings, pouches or other non-structured carriers?
A: We have to fit refugees in about 2 minutes flat, usually in very chaotic and crowded harbors, and without any spoken instructions (given that most don’t speak English). Because of that, wraps and slings are not a safe or efficient option. Structured carriers on the other hand are considerably more user friendly and have a much easier learning curve.
Q: My carrier is broken/recalled. Should I send it?
A: No. We cannot repair carriers and we have to discard recalled ones. Please only send us a carrier you would also give to a close friend! Old carriers, worn carriers, faded carriers are perfectly ok to send, but please no broken or recalled ones!
Q: Where should I send it to?
A: Please mail your carrier to:
Carry The Future 121 W. Lexington Drive Suite L106D
Glendale, CA 91203
Q: Can I include anything along with my carrier?
A: If you like, pin a note to the refugee who will be receiving your carrier by using a paper clip! If your carrier has a pocket, you can also stuff it with items such as: plush toy, baby/toddler socks/hat/mittens, high protein snacks and/or electrolyte or vitamin packets.
Q: Can I donate other items like toys or clothing to Carry The Future?
A: No. At this time we are only accepting soft structured baby carriers and monetary donations. We are a very new organization, with 501c3 status pending, so we have to be very cost effective. Sending clothing and toys by plane with our volunteers is very costly, and we would rather spend our limited funds on carriers!
Q: Can I join you on a future trip/volunteer with your organization?
A: Absolutely! The first thing you should do, is collect donated carriers from your friends and family and have them all pitch in for shipping costs. Also, liking and sharing our social media accounts and fundraisers is extremely helpful. Lastly, you can add yourself to the event at this link for support and advice: https://www.facebook.com/events/408211092711174/
Here is a link to the Article “Five Ways You can Help Refugees with Small Children”:
HERE ARE FIVE WAYS YOU CAN HELP SYRIAN REFUGEES TRAVELING TO SAFETY WITH SMALL CHILDREN!
1. Mail us your clean, gently used structured baby carriers to (PLEASE NO ITEMS OTHER THAN SOFT STRUCTURED BABY CARRIERS such as Bjorns, Ergos, Mei Teis):
121 W. Lexington Drive
Suite L 106D
Glendale CA 91203
**Please don’t send wraps, ring slings or pouches at this time, as they are unsuitable for these circumstances, given that we have to fit the parent in less than 3 minutes with little to no spoken words. Again, please do not send items that aren’t carriers at this time, but feel free to add a small plush toy, protein bar, socks, note, etc. INSIDE the pocket of your carrier if it has a pocket.
Cheapest way to ship is in a soft polymailer by standard parcel.**
2. Donate towards the purchase/shipment of more baby carriers:
Check out “3000 Baby Carriers for Syrian Refugees in Kos” on Indiegogohttp://igg.me/at/MamaBebeKos/shre/659033
3. Donate towards the purchase of a Care Package for a Syrian Refugee Child:
Check out “Operation Refugee Child ” on Indiegogohttp://igg.me/at/carrythefutureORC/shre
4. Help spread awareness by liking and sharing our fundraisers and posts. 90% of our funding and success is thanks to people like you liking and sharing.
5. Join our team! We are a rapidly expanding organization looking for both casual and dedicated volunteers around the world. If you want to help we have a place for you! To join us, please join our volunteer group:
*CarryTheFuture is currently in the process of obtaining 501(c)3 status
Carry the Future can be found on Facebook.
The organization can also be found and funded on Indiegogo.
You can follow Carry the Future on Twitter.
There is no single right way to help make the world a better place. Find a way that makes you happy. Give money, give time, give hope.
Humankind; because EVERYONE deserves compassion.