In October, Scientologist Cristal Logothetis saw a picture of a little Syrian boy lying dead on the shore of a Turkish beach. The mother of a two-year-old son of her own, she knew she had to do something about this.
Cristal started following the news of the refugees and in nearly every photo she saw men and woman carrying a young child in their arms. “Refugees can end up walking hundreds of miles to their asylum destinations,” Cristal said in her interview with The Today Show. “They desperately need a safer, more comfortable way to carry their babies and toddlers.”
Cristal launched the nonprofit Carry the Future and raised funds to transport thousands of baby carriers to refugee families. The campaign quickly caught on and moms started shipping her their used baby carriers, many of them with personal notes to the refugee mothers: “Sent with love and prayers,” “You are not alone. Stay strong mama.” “Praying 4 God’s protection 4 U and your family.” “To this parent and the baby you love. Sending you my best wishes for strength and courage, as you make the long journey. May this carrier help you both on your way.”
There were other moms who, like Cristal, felt a commitment to doing something personally to help these families and they volunteered to fly with Cristal to Greece to distribute the baby carriers to refugees arriving on the island of Kos, after their treacherous journeys from Turkey by inflatable rubber boat and to refugees in camps in Athens.
“I got to meet the refugee families face to face and hold their babies,” says Cristal. “I am forever changed. There is so much I want to say. I don’t think the English language containsthe words I need to describe my experience in Greece. It was a very emotional trip and I still struggle with these emotions now. The people we helped are you and they are me. They are people—human beings. They didn’t chose to be born in Syria or Afghanistan. They love their country and their home but they had to flee. The men, women and children I met will always be in my heart.”
Two producers from NBC, Jeng-Tyng Hong and Patrice Poltzer, embedded with Carry the Future in Greece and captured their story and the stories of the refugee families.
Anyone who wants to help Cristal continue her effort can do so by mailing clean, gently used carriers to:
Carry The Future
121 W. Lexington Drive, Suite L 106D
Glendale, CA or donate or its Operation Refugee Child, which provides refugee children with care packages including water, flashlights, blankets, and other necessities.