I live in a bubble. It is full of storytimes, ballet classes and playdates. Endless dinnertimes, bedtimes and Target runs. Sometimes I forget that there is a world outside of my bubble. As a stay at home mom, I am blessed to spend my days living in a wonderful suburban community, surrounded by other families also taking part in the modern day “American Dream.”
Almost exactly 2 years ago, while reading the news, I was overwhelmed with emotion as the refugee crisis in the Middle East unfolded. I submerged myself and consumed everything I could get my hands on regarding Syria, migrant crossings and the general turmoil of the area. When I finally came up for air, I knew I couldn’t continue on, living as I had before. I wanted to reach outside of my bubble to these people. To bring them some of the peace and comfort that I am privileged to. As I watched this all unravel through a computer screen, I just had no idea how I could actually make a difference as one mom so far away from the refugees struggling to bring their families to safety.
It was then that I discovered Carry the Future. A group of moms (and some dads) that wanted to make a difference and had felt the same calling as me, that were working to identify and meet the needs of refugee mothers and children arriving in Greece after tumultuous journeys. This group was working to bring baby carriers, high protein snacks and other items of comfort and aid to families traveling dangerous paths. I knew that I had to be a part of it! I dusted off my professional skills that I had put on a back shelf once my children were born and I worked tirelessly on the communications team to help create what is now an organization that will be marking our second year of delivering aid!
As the refugee crisis has evolved, so has the way Carry the Future meets needs. What began in September 2015 as one mom collecting baby carriers has evolved into a 501c3 non-profit with over 150 staff and 6000 volunteers that help out with aid drives, fundraising and community awareness in only 2 years. We are still true to our original model of sending volunteers to meet refugees and deliver aid. We have expanded globally and serve refugee populations living in camps and squats located in Greece, Serbia, France and Jordan. We still deliver baby carriers, in addition to baby beds, newborn supplies, diapers, school supplies, shoes, blankets, food and the list goes on. We have built 2 playgrounds at refugee camps in Greece. We truly know no limits to the good we can do. And did I mention that we are still entirely volunteer run!
What for me, began as a need to help, has turned into a part of my life that I am not sure I could ever live without. The sense of peace I get from knowing I am not sitting on the sidelines, the overall well-being I have because I know that I am a part of something bigger than myself that makes a difference daily, has given me such purpose. While I still love going to storytimes and ballet classes, you might at times find me ducking out to answer an urgent email or take a conference call. This is my new bubble if you will, and I love it.
To celebrate reaching such a commendable milestone, Carry the Future is hosting a virtual run, which means you can do it anywhere!! You can even walk it, skip it, bike it, you name it. Participants have the option to do a 5k, 10k or half marathon. So I would like to invite you all to join me, on September 15, the day Carry the Future officially began and in solidarity, stand up together and make a difference.
Registration is $25 and includes an official race medal. Shirts are available for an additional charge. We are also encouraging those taking part in this race to do some fundraising through facebook and help raise funds that go directly towards bringing aid to refugee families. All of the information you could need about the race, and about the work Carry the Future has done over the past 2 years can be found here on our website. You can check us out on Facebook too. Thank you for taking the time to read about my journey. I hope it has inspired you to branch out and help others in need, be it in your community or anywhere on the globe. I now truly believe that together we can make a difference.