Being a new Mom, I find myself circling with a new group of friends who have recently became Mom’s as well. My son and I spend some of our free time at Bellani Maternity in Warwick. I took pre-natal yoga there during my pregnancy and we took a New Mom’s class shorty after my son was born. It’s always nice to hang out with other Mom’s who have been there and just get it.
Since the class has ended, we have all kept in touch. Alana DiMario, our New Mom’s instructor, was planning a packing party at Bellani for the organization, Carry the Future. The event took place yesterday but took months to coordinate. Alana asked for new or gently used baby carriers as well as new toiletries items that would be shipped to Carry the Future to be distributed to the refugee families in Greece.
It was a great event to volunteer for. Below are some photos from the event. When I asked Alana how she originally got involved with Carry the Future, she said:
I could not imagine what it would be like to have the very stable, normal life I lead with my family be taken away, leaving me with no choice but to jump into an unsafe boat and cross the sea to an uncertain future. One night on Facebook I saw an article about a mom from California who wanted to help with a unique need of this population of refugees on the move – a way to safely carry their babies on their long journey. Cristal Logothetis initiated a baby carrier collection drive among her circle of friends and family, and then organized a group of volunteers to travel to Greece to meet incoming refugee groups and fit them with baby carriers, bringing the donated carriers as checked luggage.From there, people like me learned about the mission of Carry the Future and initiated carrier drives of our own in all 50 states and across the world. I was astounded by the positive response in our community, from local moms who initiated playground playdate drives to people who volunteered to be collection points. With my connection to Bellani Maternity and the amazing group of parents who form the community there, we started a drive at the store with a collection bin available 7 days a week, and the carriers started rolling in!
Typical resources for humanitarian aid look at needs like food, shelter, and hygiene, and they try to maximize donations by buying these items in the economy local to where the crisis is. Carry the Future fills a unique need that is not addressed by these other organizations in providing both baby carriers as well as unpaid volunteers to help caregivers learn to use the carriers.
At our carrier packing event, we ended up sending over 90 baby carriers to Carry the Future, which will be taken by volunteers and given to caregivers in the refugee camps in Greece and elsewhere. The conditions in these camps are very difficult for the refugees, especially those with young children. Having to stand in various lines to receive food and other aid, and having few safe places to put a small child down is a strain on parents and caregivers. Baby carriers mean being able to keep little ones close and safe while parents do what they need to for their families.
I think that the part of this cause that resonated with me and the volunteers who came out to the packing party or contributed in other ways was the #Me2You aspect of what Carry the Future is doing. The actual carrier that I used to hold my babies close has now been sent, along with a note of support, to another family across the globe. There is a connection in that type of effort, parent to parent, that goes beyond the material goods that were sent. It is a tangible way to connect and let this generation of parents and babies know they are thought of and cared for. These babies will share the world with my babies, and making sure that generation knows every love, kindness, and opportunity possible is essential in creating the kind of world I hope my children grow up in.
If anyone is interested in donating or learning more about Carry the Future, please check out their website: http://www.carrythefuture.org/ and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Currently the biggest need is funds to help facilitate distribution in the spread out camps, along with volunteers with various skill sets to assist in their efforts.”
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
― Margaret Mead
Nicole Gesmondi Photographer, LLC is a wife-and-husband photography team located in Providence, Rhode Island. We’ve been providing wedding and portrait photography services in and around Providence and Newport, Rhode Island, New York, Connecticut, Boston and more for over a decade.
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