Each month we do a volunteer spotlight featuring one of our amazing volunteers. With more than 6000 volunteers here at Carry the Future, it is incredibly inspiring to get a peek into the story of any person who is using their time and talents to serve refugees all over the world. Congratulations to our newest Volunteer of the Month, Desi Burns Porter!
Desi lives in Montgomery, Texas, and is the mom of three daughters. Desi is the owner of a marketing and communications firm geared towards small businesses. Her involvement with Carry the Future started in October 2015, when she read an article on Facebook about a woman in California collecting baby carriers to take to Greece. Having lived in the Middle East for four years while working at Texas A&M University, she had been following the crisis since its beginning in 2011. She continued to try and find ways to help but as a work-at-home mom with three young children, her phase of life didn’t allow for many of the volunteer commitments of three to six months.
Like so many other Carry the Future volunteers, the Facebook article spurred a moment of “I can do that!” and she had begun collection baby carriers from her friends. She remembered the article also mentioned volunteering to go to Greece to deliver baby carriers and other humanitarian aid. A short time later she was speaking with our founder and had booked a flight to Athens. She traveled with Team 1 to Athens in 2015. When the board of Carry the Future was formed in January 2016, she was named Vice President.
As Vice President of the board, she helps oversee Carry the Future’s finances, as well as helping to steer Carry the Future in its chosen direction. She works closely as the Board Liaison with the Response and Digital Divisions, as well as with Carry the Future’s General Counsel on any legal issues. She also belongs to a small group within the board dedicated to strategic planning. Desi has also played an important role in overseeing our Houston Receiving Center.
Desi says her first trip to Greece with Team 1 was “…incredibly bittersweet and eye-opening…the reality and enormity of the situation was so much worse than I imagined.” However, Desi also found it incredibly motivating to be on the ground helping. She feels that Carry the Future offers a wonderful way for volunteers to plug in and help directly for a short time (something unique in the world of humanitarian work) and then continue being involved once they are back home. Desi has also traveled to the Greek Islands and Jordan with Carry the Future. She plans to go on another trip this year. Desi hopes that Carry the Future can continue to assist in refugee communities around the world and enable families to have the most normal environment they can while they wait to be resettled or return home.
She believes the mission of Carry the Future to provide simple necessities like baby carriers, baby beds, diapers, and blankets, brings awareness to the world of the plight of refugee communities. “Ultimately,” Desi said, “I would love to see Carry the Future not have to exist.”
Until then, we have fantastic volunteers like Desi to continue the mission of Carry the Future. Thank you, Desi!