By Mark Knobil from Pittsburgh, usa (Camp) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

By Mark Knobil from Pittsburgh, usa (Camp) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

A Scientologist is providing relief to refugee parents with baby carriers to help transport their young children.

The term “refugees” has been in the news these days, and unfortunately, not for uplifting and positive reasons. In the aftermath of the recent terrorist attacks on Paris, a nationwide debate has sparked on whether the United States should leave its doors open to Syrian refugees. Sadly, despite the compassionate advocacy of groups who do not equate security with selective rejection of refugees, including President Obama, 31 states have declared that Syrian refugees are “not welcome.”

Yet, there is a glimmer of hope. In a sea of politically charged stories about refugees, we find the story of Cristal Munoz-Logothetis, a member of the Church of Scientology. Cristal watched the story of Greece-bound refugee families unfold in media as they traveled by foot to their asylum destinations. She saw that the downtrodden refugee parents would often be carrying a young child in their arms. “Refugees can end up walking hundreds of miles to their asylum destinations,” said Cristal in an interview with The Today Show. She expressed that she could not remain a detached observer. “They desperately need a safer, more comfortable way to carry their babies and toddlers.”

As a response to the glaring need to create a better situation for refugees who were traveling to Greece and carrying children, Cristal launched the non-profit Carry the Future to raise funds and create a channel where concerned individuals can ship their used baby carriers to help refugee parents.

Word spread about the campaign and moms expressed their support by sending their used baby carriers, many of which contained personal messages to refugee mothers: “You are not alone. Stay strong mama.” “Praying for God’s protection for you 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.” Some moms even volunteered to fly with Cristal to Greece to distribute the baby carriers arriving on the island of Kos after the grueling journey by inflatable rubber boat, and to refugees in Athens as well.

On the Carry the Future website, Cristal expresses one of the main reasons she felt compelled to launch the campaign, “I think we can all agree, regardless of our beliefs, that children don’t deserve the situation that they are in.”

Cristal emotionally recounts the experience of personally assisting and giving to refugee families. “I got to meet the refugee families face to face and hold their babies,” she said. “I am forever changed. There is so much I want to say. I don’t think the English language contains the 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 choose 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."

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 to its Operation Refugee Child, which provides refugee children with care packages including water, flashlights, blankets, and other necessities.

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