Second in a series of brief stories about ordinary people doing extraordinary things in Greece to help desperate refugees arriving daily in the country. At the end of every story, we will share website, Facebook and any funding pages that the group currently has in place.
Cristal Logothetis was in the grocery store one day, carrying her two year old son through the aisles, buying her family’s food for the week.
“It was during the peak of the summer’s refugee crisis. I kept seeing photo after photo on my newsfeed from The Pappas Post and other media pop up of these young mothers, carrying their babies, for miles and miles of a treacherous journey,” Cristal told us in an interview.
Realizing how much weight her little guy was— just during an average trip to the super market, Cristal’s thoughts went to the endless stream of refugee moms, carrying the weight of their most precious possessions— not on a simple shopping trip, but across thousands of miles.
She decided to take action, launching an Indiegogo campaign to collect funds and send baby carriers to Greece. Her first focus was Kos, the ancestral birthplace of her husband’s family and one of the hot spots of the crisis in Greece where thousands of refugees were arriving daily.
She set her goals— just a few thousand carriers and $10,000 to help buy more and cover shipping and other expenses.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Fast forward 6 months and Carry The Future is a 501c3 status pending Public Charity Organization that provides refugee families with material aid and empowers individuals (volunteers and donors) to make a direct impact on the lives of refugees in need.
Cristal’s fundraising and awareness efforts spread like wildfire, raising to date more than $400,000 and branching out into other related support initiatives, and reaching a global audience of an estimated 200 million people, with appearances on top news channels and shows, including The Today Show.
Carry the Future currently has two programs:
Operation Refugee Child (ORC): Provides backpacks with relief items such as emergency blankets, hand warmers, flashlights and halal jerky to refugees. Plans include the distribution of 10,000 of these relief packs in the coming months,alone.
Baby Carriers for Refugees (BCR): provides baby and infant carriers so that refugee families can travel in safety and with dignity on their journey to a better life. Many baby carriers sent by donors come with hand-written notes from the donor families.
Carry the Future has already distributed almost 10,000 baby carriers throughout Greece since it was founded on September 15th, 2015.
The organization has collected over 30,000 baby carriers from throughout the world and does an average of two distribution trips per month at various refugee centers throughout Greece, where teams of 8-10 individuals travel to Greece with close to 2000 baby carriers in their luggage and personally fit these carriers on families as they disembark at the Piraeus Port.
CTF has raised close to $400,000 from both ORC and BCR programs combined.
Cristal’s efforts have resulted in an international community of nearly 50,000 supporters and 5,000 engaged volunteers throughout the world.
Carry the Future is run by a team of 70 unpaid staff volunteers, and is rapidly expanding.
Considered a pioneer in the Micro-Solidarity and Meaningful Tourism industries, Cristal’s efforts— as well as her tireless team of supporters— is paving the way for a more humane and engaged society, where everyday individuals can make a direct impact on the life of someone far away.