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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Family Services, Human Service Organizations, Human Services, Thrift Shops

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.

Community Stories

14 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This is a fantastic charity. Many times in the past, I have personally helped people that would not otherwise get the assistance they need. Cradles to Crayons, makes it extremely easy to assist people in need.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a social worker in Philadelphia, C2C was a vital resource to the families that had children who needed clothing and toys. It felt like Christmas each time I would bring a bag of things to a family, and they were so thankful. Unlike other organizations that offer donations and resources to families, C2C allows workers to customize orders to each family, down to the kind of books and toys they like. The items I received for the kids were always right on target. I cannot say enough about them and their value to the families in this area that just need a little help! I also volunteer with them and I feel good seeing the love and care that goes into making each order extra special!

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As an employee of a non profit social service agency we utilize C2C to provide a variety of items for our consumers. The items in each bag range from clothing to educational toys. C2C provides everyday necessities for low income families that other wise could not afford them. Many of the staff at our agency has also volunteered at the Conshohocken facility and the experience was so amazing that we plan to go back.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

My agency is a distribution partner for Cradles To Crayons. I work in a transitional housing program, and use this fabulous service frequently as I help families settle into their new homes. They frequently come with little to nothing, and this is a great benefit to them. The fact that each order comes packed for each child is wonderful; it provides a more individualized experience for people who have often become nameless or faceless in the "system". As I delivered an order to a family with 3 chlldren and they excitedly opened their packages, one of them exclaimed, "It's like Christmas!".

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Cradles to Crayons Inc. is a fantastic organization and great resource for serving needy families. I have volunteered with Cradles to Crayons Inc., and I have accessed its service with two non-profits that I work with, Carson Valley Children's Aid and X-Offenders for Community Empowerment. With X-Offendes for Community Empowerment, I was able to provide school bags and supplies for youth entering school in the fall, and toys for youth around Christmas time. With Carson Valley Children's Aid, I was able to provide winter coats to school age youth we serve in our Truancy and After School programs. Cradles to Crayons Inc. is a valuable resource to youth serving agencies in the city of Philadelphia.

Steven P. Blackburn

Review from Guidestar

Erin B.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Cradles to Crayons is a wonderful organization. They have provided me with countless supplies to help the families I work with. The most usefull items I have recieved an continue to request are Pack n' Plays, carseats, safety gates aand other baby supplies. It is so important for children to have safe equipment and times have been especially rough financially the last couple years. The staff is always friendly when I have picked up orders and the equipment is always in propper working order, safe and clean.
I also appreciate the environmental impact of this program. It is wonderfull to recycle and reduce the ammount of equipment that ends up in landfills, or ships over seas while helping vulnerable children at the same time. Win, win situation!!!

Review from Guidestar

harmonious

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Harmonious Volunteer Center is a Distribution Partner organization and through the CRC we have been able to provide assistance to over 400 dis-advantaged, deprived and under-served families having a need for the gifts provided for the children. Our combined services to the general population has encouraged other organizations to join with CRC to expand the program. We are pleased with the personnel, their attitudes, performance and professionalism which reflects well on the organization.
Irvin B. Shannon, Harmonious Volunteer Center

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Cradles to Crayons is an outstanding organization that has provided much needed supplies for our students with children. We have received donations of clothing, books, toys, equiptment and most importantly, coats. Many of our students children did not have a coat, hat or gloves at the start of winter. C2C made it possible for many of our students children to be dressed properly and warm this winter. They have a truly dedicated staff who are comitted to making a difference in the lives of children. They are doing an amazing job!

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a teacher who works with middle school students, I am continually impressed by the ways in which Cradles to Crayons makes volunteering fun and meaningful. Never for a moment do my 7th grade students forget that they are working to get things ready for the immediate use of needy families. They enjoy meeting the C2C staff, and they enjoy knowing that their volunteer work will have an impact right away.

I also write as a parent of a Cradles to Crayons summer intern and member of the young leadership council. During the summer, my high school aged son trained with Joe Spause in a true service learning program, and he came home each day, inspired to think about developing a better infrastructure for the delivery of clothes, supplies and food to needy families. C2C sparked a kind of idealism that carries into our family life and into his first thoughts about a future career.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

Our organization have in the past used the services of Cradles to Crayons to help in our initiatives to help the clients we serve. They are very generous, and caring organization and I appreciate being able to collaborate with them.

Denise F.
Women's Center of Montgomery County