CRADLES TO CRAYONS

Rating: 4.87 stars   319 reviews

Issues: Children & Youth, Human Services

Location: 155 North Beacon Street Brighton MA 02135 USA

Mission: Cradles to Crayons provides children from birth through age 12, living in homeless or low-income situations, with the essential items they need to thrive - at home, at school and at play. We supply these items free of charge by engaging and connecting communities that have with communities that need.
Results: Over the years, Cradles to Crayons has distributed more than 300,000 packages of essential items to disadvantaged Massachusetts children, including 127,000 backpacks filled with brand new school supplies.
Target demographics: provide children from birth through age 12 living in low-income or homeless situations with the essential items they need to thrive.
Direct beneficiaries per year: distribute 29,000 KidPacks and 30,000 backpacks to local kids in-need
Geographic areas served: Massachusetts and Pennsylvania
Programs: Cradles to Crayons’ signature program, Everyday Essentials, the subject of this request, provides children living in low-income or homeless situations with essential items such as clothing for a week, books, shoes, developmental toys and more. Everyday Essentials operates year-round with targeted seasonal initiatives to best meet the needs of local children. Our Gear Up for Winter campaign supplies kids with the cold weather gear that they need to stay warm from October through February. Our school readiness platform, Ready for School operates from July through September to provide children with materials they need to feel ready to learn from head to toe. During March and April, our Spring Greening program ties in a fun initiative for families to clean out their closets and donate their gently-used items to Cradles to Crayons. Gear Up for Baby focuses on gathering infant and child safety equipment throughout the months of May and June.
2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 04-3584367
617-779-4700
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

Hi, my name is Grace and my first experience with Cradles to Crayons was with HOBY (Hugh O'Brian Youth) on an off-site volunteer day. When we arrived at the "Giving Factory" we were greeted and shown around by the other volunteers who worked there regularly. The factory was organized with specific work stations, and many shelves and boxes filled with childen's shoes and books. We were instructed where to begin, which for my group, happened to be the birthday-present wrapping center. Volunteers informed us that when they get in requests for a special birthday present for a boy or girl, they get younger volunteers to decorate the paper, which was then used to wrap gifts. This made me realize just how important it is to make a child feel special and loved on his or her birthday, especially when they already need the basic essentials to grow and learn. I thought this was exceptionally thoughtful of Cradles to Crayons to consider how these memorable days in a child's life should be celebrated. Then, we began working with the order slips, selecting and packing the items a child will actually use. I remember how one of the guys in another group started crying when he was picking out diapers and baby clothes for a family. It was difficult for me to wrap my head around the idea that not only families are living with less than adequate food and clothing, but also that infants - the most vulnerable and easily susceptible to sickness - are presently living with less than they require to grow properly. My experience with Cradles to Crayons opened my eyes to the conditions in which so many are living, and made me reflect on how my involvement could make a difference in someone else's life.
I can't thank Cradles to Crayons enough for the work that they so willingly do. Cradles to Crayons is a pioneer because, they recognize the plight of others and take extraordinary action towards relieving such suffering. Cradles to Crayons is a great organization, and I hope more people take part in their goal of helping needy children.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Recognizing the need of others less fortunate than myself, and learning how I can help to make a difference in someone's life.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Encourage volunteers at Cradles to Crayons to spread their experience to friend and family, further promoting the good work they do.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I have volunteered at C2C twice in the past few months. I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience each time and have referred others to the organization. They are organized, the staff is friendly and the experience is rewarding.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My volunteer work listed above

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

No changes needed

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

My Girl Scout troop volunteered cleaning toys and sorting clothing for families. All of the girls enjoyed the work they did and it inspired them to want to do more service projects. The coordinators explained how they were helping many people in their own community and kept it light and (more importantly) motivational instead of depressing. It was very well organized and the jobs the children did were easy and interesting for them.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

There are more people than ever in our community needing aid that this organization provides. I've suggested it to many people who I knew needed some help. The experience also inspired my girls to do more service projects.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Reopen the location near Horsham, PA. Our girls are not able to volunteer time now that it is closed. I would REALLY love to get it back.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

volunteered as a service project...so well organized, friendly staff who completely care about the organization's mission. So glad to have them as part of our community

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

haven't....just saw first hand what they do for children

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

more marketing in suburbs

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I organized a visit for my daughters' girl scout troop to volunteer at Cradles to Crayons last year. The girls sorted clothes and cleaned and sorted toys. They all were excited about what they were doing and unanimously said they felt that they had helped other kids like themselves directly by doing the work themselves, making the packages that would actually go to the recipients. It was a wonderful experience for the girls to have a hands on experience. Cradles to Crayons made volunteering meaningful and instilled in the girls a feeling for community service as well as a feeling of having the power and the responsibility to help others.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I saw a dozen 10-yea-old girls get excited about helping others.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I'm sorry they moved further from our community. But the community outreach ideas should reach more people and i look forward to hearing of an event in our area.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been volunteering at C2C Philadelphia for 6 months. I was going every other week but enjoy it so much I now go weekly when ever possilbe. The staff and other volunteers are really nice and I feel like I am really ehlping those less fortunate.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

no

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

give better orientations to younger vounteers and the people in charge ot them.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I've been a volunteer for various non-profits for about 25 years. I know what makes an organization sustainable and I believe Cradles to Crayons has what it takes.

The employees at C2C are extremely friendly and helpful. The directions for helping are simple and clear (a lot of thought has gone into creating and stocking each station). My favorite part, however, is that families can volunteer together and the kids can play an active role, which means it's like Kids for Kids (K4K)!

I'm so thankful to the person who introduced my family to C2C! Keep up the great work!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Seeing a friend's children helped.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

It's a little difficult to find/park at the location.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

Our company chooses several charities a year and encourages employees to choose from the list of organized events. 2010 was the 2nd year that Cradles to Crayons was on the list. All of the volunteers had a very rewarding experience in 2009 (small number of people) and raved about it so much that in 2010 we had 48 people attend the one event; much more than the other events. This is due to the fact that the charity is well run, helps local people and understands how to keep all of the volunteers busy and motivated. We will continue to support Cradles to Crayons in 2011 and beyond.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Yes I have - see above

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

No suggestions

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I volunteered through my work and found the experience very rewarding. Cradles to Crayons Inc. does their best to fulfill all their requests from the parents, organizations and kids. I would definately volunteer there again.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

volunteering for the day

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

give them more space. which I think they got because they moved location shortly after I volunteered

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

Cradles to Crayons is wonderful and very well run organization. My company chose to volunteer our time with them in December 2010 and it was a great experience. The staff was friendly and helpful, and my colleagues enjoyed being able to see the process from start to finish. We organized toys, sorted through clothing and created packages for kids in need. It was on overall amazing experience and we are looking forward to volunteering with them again.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

N/A

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

N/A

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Review from Guidestar