Better late than never… I want to share my reason for supporting Carry the Future on Giving Tuesday. This tenacious, scrappy organization has meant the world to me for the last three years, and has done immeasurable amounts of good for refugee families around the world. To date we have mobilized 50 teams of volunteers to travel abroad as humanitarian volunteers—I started my CTF journey on Team 3—and we have quite literally filled shipping containers with donations including blankets, baby carriers (27,000 distributed to date, and counting,) and bundles of essential new baby supplies.
One of our key roles is filling in gaps in service, for example providing surplus diapers to families who are on strict “diaper rations” inside a refugee camp. (One camp on mainland Greece provides babies with one diaper a day; another that I recently visited provides ten diapers every five days. Harken back to life with a newborn and you’ll immediately know that those numbers are woefully inadequate.) Our teams of volunteers purchase fresh produce, hygiene supplies, tents and sleeping bags, and post-partum supplies for vulnerable families in Greece, Serbia and France, and we have ongoing partnerships on the ground in Jordan, as well. In 2018, we also worked with partners to provide $25,000 work of hygiene kits to Rohingya women in refugee camps in Bangladesh.
This past year, we provided funds and support for ongoing quality of life projects, including playgrounds at refugee camps, women’s and children’s spaces, a community kitchen in Jordan, and community gardens. Given that the global average stay in a refugee camp is more than 10 years, these projects provide hope, purpose and essential income generation opportunities.
Best of all? Carry the Future accomplishes all of this awesomeness with extremely low overhead. We are run by an all-volunteer board and a staff of more than 60 committed volunteers around the world. While we pay for bookkeeping and legal support, we are able to channel almost all funds we raise directly into supporting refugees on the ground. If you’re a frequent donor to charities, you know this is a big deal. As a board member, this is a big deal to me, too.
I invite you to read more about Carry the Future. We have great strategies for getting your friends and community involved in supporting refugee families—our current Jordanian Dinner Party project is a fun, delicious event waiting to happen. Or if you’re short on time, please consider making a year-end donation to CTF. We cannot keep doing what we’re doing without your support.