A Fargo mother who was born in the U.S. after her parents moved here from Syria has joined an effort to make the journey easier for refugee families who are fleeing with nothing but what they can carry.
The Fargo Forum reports that Najla Amundson, 48, is collecting new and used baby carriers in the Fargo-Moorhead area on behalf of Carry the Future, a volunteer group that will distribute them to to Syrian refugees in Greece.
"It's such a simple concept, and yet it benefits them so much to have their child close to them, on them and have their hands free, perhaps, to hold the hands of other children," said Amundson, a communication professor at North Dakota State University and the mother of four.
Amundson has put collection boxes at sites around the area. She said she hopes to have 100 by Christmas. The campaign began when Cristal Munoz-Logothetis, a mother from Glendale, saw pictures of refugee children dying. Appearing on the Today Show, she said she has no political agenda and emphasized that the campaign is a humanitarian one.
An IndieGoGo campaign has been set up for those who would rather donate money for carriers.
Carry the Future's Facebook page indicated the organization had received 5,000 carriers by Thanksgiving Day, which had been its goal.
Carry the Future is looking for soft, structured carriers with clasps or harnesses that let parents carry children on their back or chest. Common brands are BabyBjorn, Kolcraft, Moby Go, Mei Tai, Tula and Ergo. Wraps, slings and pouches are not being accepted.
"Whether or not you agree or disagree with allowing refugees into the country, I think everyone can agree with the fact that there's a humanitarian crisis going on," Amundson said.