Today we’d like to introduce you to Cristal Logothetis.
Cristal, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Carry The Future began on September 15th, 2015 when Founder, Cristal Logothetis, saw the heart-wrenching picture of Aylan Kurdi, the three-year-old Syrian child who drowned while his family was trying to reach safety in Greece. Cristal decided to take immediate action. Some quick research revealed that refugees were walking hundreds of miles across Europe, often in bad weather, through dangerous passages, carrying small children in their arms. Being a long-time baby wearer herself, Cristal immediately saw the potential impact a baby carrier could have on the lives of refugees. That day, she began asking for donated new or gently used carriers through Facebook and launched an Indiegogo.com campaign to collect funds to ship the carriers to the Greek island of Kos, where she has relatives who agreed to distribute them.
The response from parents interested in donating was overwhelming. Within two weeks Cristal’s campaign made national headline news. Her online fundraiser collected over 700% of her funding goal. Within 30 days she raised $42,000 and received over 3,000 donated baby carriers. Cristal wasn’t alone anymore and Carry the Future was born. Thanks to social media, Cristal was soon armed with a team of dedicated volunteers, strangers from across the globe, who were united by a simple cause that spoke to each of their hearts. Since then, both the refugee crisis and Carry the Future have evolved drastically. We now operate with a volunteer staff of over 150 and send teams of volunteers to distribute aid to refugee families living in refugee camps and settlements around the world.
Carry the Future is an organization dedicated to providing a way for everyday people to have a direct and meaningful impact on the lives of parents and children in need and our mission has truly touched the babywearing community and parents throughout the world. Our volunteers have collected and we have personally distributed over 16,000 wearable baby and toddler carriers, and thousands of other types of aid such as baby beds, blankets and children’s seasonal gear, socks and shoes, thanks to generous donations.
Monthly, numerous teams of volunteers from around the globe travel from their homes, packing baby carriers and other forms of humanitarian aid as their luggage and then they meet-up in areas where aid is needed and personally distribute the aid to refugee families. This unique model allows us to avoid delayed shipments, customs delays, and unsafe use of the carriers and baby beds that are distributed. Carry the Future also has teams of volunteers living near refugee camps that are able to ensure we have a constant presence, are consistently providing aid and are aware of immediate needs.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
One thing we realized quickly is just how quickly things change on the ground for refugee families. Within a few months of starting our work, the borders in Europe closed and refugee families were stranded indefinitely in makeshift camps. We had to pivot quickly and expand the type of aid we provided to include essentials like baby beds, shoes for children and food.
Carry the Future – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Carry the Future is one of the most recognized charities of its scope and size that is entirely volunteer-Run.
Our mission of empowering individuals in making a direct and meaningful impact on the lives of refugees has enabled us to maximize our resources and make the biggest impact we can.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
We measure our success based on the number of refugee families helped by our volunteers
- Address: 121 W. Lexington DR, SUITE L 106D
Glendale, CA 91201
- Website: Www.CarrytheFuture.org
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Carry the Future