This month the YMCA of Greater Richmond is teaming up with Carry the Future RVA to donate baby and toddler carriers to refugee families.
Photo by: Gabi in Austin
Through June 17th all Greater Richmond YMCA locations will collect new and used baby and toddler carriers to send to Syrian refugees in Greece. The effort is the result of a new partnership between the YMCA and Carry the Future RVA.
Carry the Future RVA is the local chapter of Carry the Future, a California-based non-profit that provides humanitarian aid to refugees to ease their journeys as they seek new homes.
Carry the Future began in September 2015 when Cristal Logothetis saw the now-infamous, heartbreaking photo of three-year-old Alan Kurdi, a Syrian child who drowned as his family fled Greece. After learning that the refugees pouring into Greece were often walking hundreds of miles through bad weather and dangerous areas while carrying small children-and of all their possessions-in their arms, Logothetis realized the potential relief baby carries could provide for these families. She began collecting donations, and within 30 days had received over 3,000 carriers and more than $42,000 in monetary support.
A segment on Today featuring Logothetis’s efforts caught Richmonder Bea Gonzalez’s attention, prompting her to organize a local collection of carriers and baby clothes to support Carry the Future’s mission. Last year, Gonzalez and her fellow volunteers-working under the name of Carry the Future RVA-collected 535 baby and toddler carriers that were distributed in refugee camps in Greece the following February. As Gonzalez explained in a recent interview with WRIC, they’re hoping Carry the Future RVA’s new partnership with the YMCA will help them double that number this go-around.
Carry the Future bins are set up in the lobbies of each of the 16 YMCA locations in the Greater Richmond area. Soft-structured carriers (Baby Bjorn, Kolcraft, MobyGo, Ergo, etc.) only, please-that means no slings, wraps, or pouches. With summer quickly approaching, Carry the Future RVA also welcomes donations of toddler sun hats. Those who contribute are welcome to pin a personal note to their donated items.