Kathy Watanabe was online when she first learned about Carry the Future (CTF), an organization currently gathering old and new baby carriers to be shipped to the Syrian refugees in Greece. She noticed that many neighboring cities had drop-off locations for baby carriers, but no drop-off locations were in Santa Clara yet. So she organized Santa Clara’s CTF project with several volunteers. The goal is to collect 100 carriers by Sun., December 6. A mother from San Francisco will be bringing these carriers to Glendale, CA, where CTF founder Cristal Logothetis is based.
Watanabe shares that Logothetis was troubled by a widely circulated image of a three year-old Syrian boy who tragically drowned in early September.
“Cristal decided to collect baby carriers to send to Greece because she has family living in Greece,” Watanabe says.”Word got out about what she was doing. Cristal and her volunteers were able to ship 5,000 carriers to help the Syrian refugees in three short months.”
Watanabe stresses that the offering of a baby carrier is not a political or religious statement.
“Being a parent, it tugs at your heartstrings to see these moms trying to provide safety for their children,” Watanabe says. “We’ve been blessed with so much.Even if it’s just providing a baby carrier, it’ll make these moms’ journey a little bit lighter.”
Currently working with Watanabe to promote the baby carrier drive is a team of other Santa Clara mothers: Vickie Fairchild, Karen Hovey and Christina Gorokhovsky.
“As a mother, the thought of these children in distress with exhausted parents fleeing their countries is hard to imagine,” Fairchild says. “I remember how tired my arms and back would become from carrying a child without a carrier.”
“Being a parent myself, I know how exhausting it can be to carry around a child all day,” Hovey says. “And when you put it in the context of fleeing a country and carrying your child, it seems overwhelming. This seems like a personal way to help parents.”
“You feel something in common with people who are going through this because you’re a mother too and we hear so much on the news about what’s going on in Syria,” Gorokhovsky says. “I’m participating in this so I can directly help someone.”
“Right now, we are looking for donations of baby carriers, baby socks, and toys,” Watanabe says.”If people look at Amazon’s[Carry the Future Official Wish List], there are a whole bunch of itemssuggested that are nominally priced, such as pacifiers, plush toys, protein bars, and beef jerky.”
Visit www.carrythefuture.org to donate directly to Carry the Future or learn more about the organization. Call Watanabe by Dec. 6 at (408) 429-4440to get drop-off locations for baby carriers in Santa Clara.