Carry the Future – Baby Carriers for Syrian Refugees
This morning I was scrolling through Facebook where I found a story about a mom in California who saw the struggling refugees carry their own babies while holding their kids hands and thought baby carriers would be really helpful. She got some friends together and ended up getting donations of gently used carriers that she flew with 10 other volunteers to help greet people as they got off the boat. With only 2 minutes per person, they had to quickly teach parents who were wary momentarily before the realization of the value hit them humbling both trainer and trainee.
(All pictures from “Carry the Future” Facebook page.)
Founded by Cristal, Carry the Future started as a single, modest Indiegogo campaign to raise $2,500 and 100 baby carriers for her to send to family she had in Greece so they could deliver them to refugees arriving by boat to their shores. As a result of the campaign going viral, Cristal received support from volunteers inspired and offering to help. We have a network of over 3000 volunteers across the globe and donations continue to flow in from supporters everywhere on a daily basis.
Learn More on Their Websites
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”:
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 Indiegogo http://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 Indiegogo http://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