Athena Zellhuber, age 16, Maralie Zellhuber, age three, and Mikaela Levy, owner of Fiddlehead and Ferns, stand with carriers Juneauites are donating to Syrian refugee families in need of them.

Athena Zellhuber, age 16, Maralie Zellhuber, age three, and Mikaela Levy, owner of Fiddlehead and Ferns, stand with carriers Juneauites are donating to Syrian refugee families in need of them.

Juneau moms reaching out to help refugees

Most Syrian refugees have a long and winding path ahead of them. Some Juneau mothers, and a national organization they contribute to, want to help Syrian families travel that path together.

Juneau moms Amanda Goins and Jaime Zellhuber, as volunteers with the organization “Carry the Future,” have the goal of collecting 30 new or gently used baby carriers by December 30. They’re also collecting baby socks, protein bars, and other handy, small items to stuff into the carriers’ pockets. Goins and Zellhuber will send those carriers to refugee families with small children.

“Carry the Future” was an effort started by a California mom. It went viral, and now has more than 3000 volunteers, according to its website. In addition to carriers, it supplies relief packs that include things like waterproof solar blankets, emergency sleeping bags, flashlights and hand sanitizer, according to its website.

“It caught like wildfire,” Goins said. “People really wanted to help out.”

She heard about it through social media.

By early December, Goins and Zellhuber had collected eight carriers, with two more on the way. They’ve also been contacting Juneau businesses to see if they’re interested in getting involved, Goins said, and they’re open to donations towards the purchase of both the items in the carriers and the carriers themselves. Reuben Willis at State Farm is helping with the shipping, Goins said, and the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council is donating poster-making services to help get the word out.

“Everyone in town has been super,” she said.

Goins said the effort isn’t a political statement, but that as a mom of a 2-year old, with another child on the way, the plight of refugee families and children affected her deeply and she wanted to help.

“This is really a way that just touched our hearts to try to help,” she said. “The emphasis is just families helping families.”

The drop off point for carriers is at Fiddleheads and Ferns, a Juneau store that sells “natural baby and maternity products” and is owned by mom and doula Mikaela Levy. It’s at 607 West 7th St., next to Taku Lanes Bowling Alley.

• Contact Capital City Weekly staff writer Mary Catharine Martin at maryc.martin@capweek.com.

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