A California mom’s desire to help Syrian refugees has turned into an organization that now spans the globe with one common goal: to get baby carriers into the hands of refugees. Cristal Munoz-Logothetis started Carry The Future with a modest aim to provide some baby carriers to displaced refugees in Europe.
Her indiegogo campaign, Operation Refugee Child, was started with the original goal of $2500 and 100 baby carriers for refugee families. Instead, it’s raised nearly $100,000, collaborated with MOBY to receive carriers at wholesale prices, and has received thousands of carriers from individual donors.
The group provides a helpful Q&A if you are interested in donating:
Q: What sort of baby carriers can I donate?
A: Please send us your new or 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:
C/O Carry The Future 121 W. Lexington Drive Suite L106D
Glendale, CA 91203
Your gently used carrier or a new carrier you buy can help a family securely carry their child during this time of complete upheaval. The following is a personal testament from an Oregon mom, Christine Anderson, who is distributing carriers in Greece:
Anderson has image after image on her page of refugees being fitted with carriers. Of this particular encounter Anderson says, “I put the toddler on the father’s back in an Ergo. The moment I release the weight of the child and the child is properly in the Ergo, the father realizes that it is not a struggle to hold his toddler. He looks at me and says, ‘relief’ He now has attention to put on his other children.” Can you imagine? Anyone who’s used a carrier knows that they allow you to multitask — to have your hands free. But most of us have never had to care for our children while literally scrambling for safety.
It took one person to decide to make an effort for this wonderful landslide of help to begin. Don’t ever think the world’s problems are just too big for you to make a dent. If Munoz-Logothetis surrendered to that thought, thousands of families wouldn’t have the help these carriers have brought.