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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

15 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Christina25

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I had the pleasure of interning with this organization while in college. While I was there, I got to experience first hand what happens in their 'Giving Factory' on a daily basis. Across MA, there are many families that are (technically) living above the "poverty line" yet still have trouble obtaining daily necessities such as clothing, school supplies, and birthday gifts for their children. C2C works to close that gap. Social workers report to C2C with a list of their family's needed items, and the Volunteers get to shop their way through the aisles of donated items to fill those orders. It feels great to be a part of an organization that is so tangible, as a volunteer you know that those very items you take off the Giving Factory shelves are going to a family with children in need very nearby. Anyone looking to give back to their community should highly consider Cradles to Crayons. They have donation centers across Massachusetts as well as donation programs for kids and adults to participate in (check out their Birthday Star program!). Great organization, great staff members, and a great cause!!! you guys are the best!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is a very worthwhile charity and the people who participate get a lot out of helping others.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I work for a non-profit in Philadelphia and we use C2C as a resource for our clients. They are an amazing staff and their volunteers are very helpful. The items our clients receive are in very good condition and very appreciated. Our staff even volunteered a couple of hours at the Philadelphia site. We are very grateful for their amazing work. Thanks!!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

With 3 children of our own we wanted to donate their gently used toys and clothing to other children in need. After finding C2C and participating in one of their family time to give events we knew this was the greatest organization for kids out there. Now whenever we can fill the SUV we make the hour drive and donate to C2C! One of our childs youth groups even held a coat/winter clothing drive to help! Kids helping kids!!!

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I learned about Cradles to Crayons from my mother - she works for a local company who had volunteered at the Conshohocken facility. As a mom of two young children who have outgrown various clothing and supplies, I was glad to know of a local donation option.

When I arrived to drop some items off, the reception by the staff could not have been more warm or appreciative. They helped me fill out a donation form for my records and thanked me so graciously. I asked some questions about what items they accept, how they distribute things, etc., and the staff members were informative and professional.

By the time I'd come home, I already had an email thanking me for my donation and providing follow-up information - so prompt and efficient!

It feels great to know that there is such a wonderful service that provides such needed and concrete help to children and families in the area. I will definitely be donating again, and am considering volunteering.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have had contact with members of the staff at this organization and have found them to be exemplary, caring individuals. Unlike some other nonprofits I have dealt with, the employees of Cradles to Crayons truly care and devote their every effort toward helping those in need.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The company I work for has contributed to Cradles to Crayone for the past several years during the December holiday season. It has been an honor to help this great organization that is filling a HUGE need in our metropolitan area -- especially with the recent downturn of the economy. Even though our business has felt an economic pinch (as all have), all our staff consider it of utmost importance to help children in need. C2C are angels on earth for what they are doing!

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have organized at least five donation drives for C2C in the last couple years. The business model is brialliant for a non-profit. They make it so
easy to run a drive (turn key), the premise of donating used/new items from newborn to teen back to your local community verses dumping
some where and never knowing where they will end up. And their nitch
specific drives for getting kids ready for school (backpack with supplies)
and cold weather wear (coats/hat/gloves) and newborn too. I know a need is being met for those whom need it most. THANK YOU.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

What a great organization! I visited the site and was so welcomed by the staff that my son and I organinzed a new underware/sock drive at his elementary school. We had great success, the school/PTO loved helping local families and my son learned a lot about helping those in need. I was excited to find a local group where my son's items can go to good use. Thanks Cradles to Crayons!!!

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

My daughter's third grade girl scout troup had the opportunity to volunteer at Cradles to Crayons. They cleaned shoes and sorted clothes. Everyone at Cradles was so kind and everything was so well organized. The girls had a great time and learned a lot while helping others. We also organized a clothing drive prior so we were able to bring some bags of clothes with us when we volunteered.

Review from Guidestar