The age requirement for participating on a Distribution Team is 18 years or older. You must pay for all travel costs (see Your Financial Responsibility tab). You must participate with the understanding and agreement that you are doing so at your own risk and expense. All volunteers for distribution trips are required to fill out an application. Once your application has been cleared, a doctor’s note and a background check are required. Any costs related to these requirements are the responsibility of participants. You must be physically and emotionally fit, capable of carrying 50-pound bags of aid, and working long days. Lastly, all Carry the Future volunteers must uphold the core values of Carry the Future and have a strong belief in the vision and mission of Carry the Future.
Distribution trip volunteers are required to cover full airfare costs, transportation to their departure airport, layover hotels during travel days (if any), all meals, travel insurance, Carry the Future apparel, pocket money, baggage fees (personal baggage allowance is used to transport aid), any and all miscellaneous or unforeseen travel costs such as medical emergencies or missed flights, etc. The cost of obtaining the required doctor’s note and background check are also the responsibility of participants. Purchasing travel insurance is strongly recommended.
A big part of your volunteer role is transporting IKEA Dimpa bags of aid to Greece. Each US-based team member should plan to take one 50-pound IKEA Dimpa bag of aid, or whatever your airline allowance is for free baggage. If your airline does not provide free baggage allowance with a ticket purchase, you are required to cover the cost of transporting one bag of aid. You have the option of making a connection in IAD to pick up aid from a DC Receiving Center volunteer OR cover the cost to have the IKEA Dimpa bag mailed directly to you. The anticipated shipping cost is $50 to $100.
Carry the Future covers the following costs:
LODGING – Carry the Future will arrange lodging for each team comparable to two to three stars. It is usually a flat, a home rental or hotel room for two to four same sex volunteers or couple per room.
TRANSPORTATION – Carry the Future will cover the cost of taxis, public transit passes, and airport shuttles at the point of distribution ONLY. The Trip Coordinator will arrange and pay directly. Van rental, fuel, and tolls for the duration of the trip are also covered by Carry the Future.
Carry the Future has a global volunteer base, which leads to distribution teams made up of a wide variety of people from all walks of life. Teams usually consist of four volunteers. Distribution teams are led by a Team Coordinator who has previously participated on a distribution trip. The Team Coordinator works hard to ensure the group feels safe and has good moral support throughout the trip.
The majority of our distribution trip volunteers are women who have never done humanitarian work outside of their home country. Team members become lifelong friends. Many team members go on to become a Team Coordinator on future trips.
Typical Daily Schedule
The Response Team is able to determine team itineraries about a week in advance of a trip. Some teams focus on aid drops and carrier fittings traveling from camp to camp. Other teams stay in one camp the entire time working on a project, teaching using music and art, playing or just helping where needed. The needs on the ground change frequently. Flexibility and patience are required attributes of team members.
Distribution trips are physically and emotionally demanding. Volunteers need to remain flexible and openly communicate with their Team Coordinator regarding their energy level. As a minimum, volunteers should be prepared to work at least eight hours per day. Schedules can include long days, early mornings, or late nights. Team members should be able to carry 50-pound bags of aid.
Volunteers should not expect a distribution trip to be a vacation. Roughly 90% of the trip time will be spent helping refugees. Volunteering with refugees is very physically and emotionally taxing work. However, team members are encouraged to use down time to rest and recharge, take in the sites, and enjoy a nice meal.
Volunteers who have been accepted as a member of a a Carry the Future Distribution Team can create a fundraiser to raise money to purchase aid on the ground in country. Additional information about fundraising will be available upon acceptance to a distribution team.