Refugee families walk hundreds of miles to their asylum destinations in Europe, and many are forced to carry all their belongings. Adults with young children are forced to carry little ones in their arms to protect them, making the journey that much more challenging for families. Structured baby carriers make this trek a little more endurable for parents in this unfortunate position.
The YMCA of Greater Richmond has partnered with Carry the Future, a California-based nonprofit, to collect baby carriers to help parents on the move throughout the world.
Stokke, a Norway-based manufacturer of baby goods, donated three baby carriers to the effort. Margaret Thompson, RFM’s publisher and founder, delivered the carriers to the downtown YMCA this week, on behalf of Stokke.
“We get a lot of product pitches at RFM,” Thompson said. “People want us to write stories about their company, or share their products with readers. When Stokke emailed us about their baby carriers, we asked if they would send a few to donate to Carry the Future.”
Bea Gonzalez, with the YMCA, said every local YMCA branch is accepting new and gently used baby carriers during business hours through Friday, June 17. Red collections bins are in every lobby.
“These structured baby carrieres with buckles and straps allow refugees to carry their babies securely along with other belongings,” said Gonzales. “We’re also asking for donations of infant and youth-size sun hats.”
The donations will be packed and shipped to Carry the Future on June 20 in celebration of World Refugee Day.