Dear Carry the Future Family,

My name is Alison Soracchi. I’m on the Board of Directors for Carry the Future. I want you to know that I hear you. Your Board of Directors and the staff at Carry the Future hear you. And even more importantly, you should know we feel what you feel — a sense of urgency to do something now that has a positive impact on the lives of the families seeking asylum currently in Mexico.

I’m going to speak to you from a personal place right now because I know all too well in times like these, every minute with unanswered questions can feel like an eternity. This is how I felt when I first met Cristal, our founder – before Carry the Future was even Carry the Future. This is why I want you to know that we are working diligently to identify the best, long-term options to provide aid, relief and hope to these families. We must do this with particular caution and care for both the asylum seekers we are aiming to help and the volunteers who will accomplish this mission. It does take time to work through this process, so I’m going to continue to be very candid with you about what we’re exploring, while giving you examples of the kinds of research necessary for each option. I hope after reading this you are encouraged and confident in the knowledge that we’re pushing forward in steadfast pursuit of how we can help do something now.

When we enter a new geographic territory, we have to conduct what is called a Risk Assessment. This helps us understand the known risks and identify means of avoiding or preventing them. As you can imagine, we could not ethically send volunteers on a distribution trip where the risks are too great, no matter where it is geographically or how great the need might be there. As we complete the Risk Assessment, we will know better what opportunities for distribution trips are available to our volunteers. And as soon as we know, you will know.

In an effort to secure trusted partnerships on the ground, we are networking with organizations already involved. We need these partnerships before we can collect aid or send money you donated. I want you to think back with me for a moment. When Cristal founded Carry the Future, her initial objective was to collect 100 baby carriers and send them to one of her family members in Greece who would distribute them to refugees arriving there. It’s important for me to remind you of that because Carry the Future has, from the very first 100 carriers, always had a trusted partner to work with in the host country. This is a vital part of how we operate.

Even though we’re volunteer-run, every trip and every piece of aid we distribute has a real dollar amount attached. In order to respond nimbly to emerging needs of refugee families around the world, including these asylum seekers, we need ongoing support from our donors. Most of our fundraising dollars go to ongoing, planned programs or immediate needs in geographic areas where we already work. We’re currently looking to increase funding – and we believe it’s working and will make Carry the Future more sustainable long-term – but we can’t spend more money on new things currently without taking away from other programs we’ve already committed to. If you’d like to make an additional gift, we’d welcome it! It would benefit all of our work, including, if we do determine we can assist with this specific situation. Before we ask you to send us money specifically for this cause, we need to finish our research to establish three things: 1) what kind of aid is needed, 2) if there is a source from which we will be able to confidently purchase the aid, and 3) what is the plan to store the aid safely and reliably if necessary.

We all have an intense desire to do something significant to help and to do it now. And that’s why, through research and communication with trusted organizations on the ground, we have identified the top five ways you can help right now. Meanwhile, we are going to ensure we establish a long term infrastructure to have a lasting impact on the refugee families who need it the most.

migrant caravan

Finally, here they are – the top five ways to help asylum seekers today. They’re direct, they’re powerful, and most importantly, they’re needed:

1) Purchase critical aid to be shipped using the Amazon Wish List created by our trusted partners at the Humanitarian Respite Center in McAllen, Texas.

2) Seek opportunities to support refugees in your own communities. When asylum seekers are processed out of detention centers at the border, they travel to cities all over the US to await their asylum hearing. Find a resettlement agency near you.

3) Take time to educate your friends about the stories of refugee families around the world. Read Sara’s story and vote for a chance to win $10K.

4) Make a one-time or monthly recurring gift to Carry the Future to provide critical aid to refugee families worldwide.

5) Organize a group of friends to volunteer in McAllen, Texas. Organizations are in need of volunteers to meet the needs of the refugee families detained there.

Take one more step in assuring you’re part of the solution by sharing this list within your networks. Join our Carry the Future Volunteer Page for opportunities to get involved.

Thank you so much for your commitment to serve refugee families everywhere!

In solidarity,

Alison Soracchi