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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Cradles to Crayons

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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

313 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I came with the Girl Scouts as a community service event. I knew nothing about C2C, I didn't know it existed. I think it's wonderful. The staff seem to enjoy what they do and are enthusiastic and caring about what C2C does.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My family has had many different introductions to C2C, and they have all been amazing. My daughters have volunteered through school community service events, my family has volunteered through my husband's company-wide service day, and I've volunteered with friends. My youngest daughter has held her last two birthdays at the Conshohocken location where the girls donated new socks and underwear instead of birthday gifts and then put together packs. They had so much fun putting together outfits for kids in need that they were reluctant to leave after two hours. We just cleaned out our closets and toy cupboard and were able to donate 11 garbage bags and boxes of gently used clothing. It is a wonderful feeling to know that your clothing and toys will be going to kids in need. My girls are always keen on cleaning, ironing and folding the clothes for donations to make sure they are high enough quality for C2C.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

CRC is an inspiration to us all. We have donated items for years, however, recently my family had the opportunity to volunteer. It was such a fun and heartwarming experience for us all. The facility is so well organized, clean and happy. Those who run it or are involved in any way are so committed and inspiring they make you feel the same. It is a wonderful and very important cause.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our whole Philly office dedicates time to volunteering each year. In 2010, during Winter, we dedicated a day at Cradles to Crayons. These guys are doing great things, and we all had a blast helping out. Knowing that kids were going to receive the winter coats, hats, gloves, boots, shoes, books, toys, etc made it especially worth it.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

C2C has a well organized program and inspires volunteerism in our communities. It is importnat for all children to feel safe, warm and ready to learn and the professional staff at C2C focuses on the real need of many low income and/or homeless childre. This is a much needed resource and C2C contributes to the well being of our most precious commodity...our children.

Review from Guidestar

Paige T.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My family has volunteered many times at Cradles to Crayons and we regularly donate clothes and toys. We always have a great time there, creating packages of clothes and cleaning and piecing together toys. My little sister has hosted her birthday party there, she enjoys it so much. I have come back with friends and with my school as well. It is a fun experience and a great opportunity for people of all ages to help children. The staff is cheerful and informative. The only thing I wish were improved is the climate control within the building, which has a tendency to reflect the outside temperature a bit too much.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

C2C is a great organization... I have been volunteering since the fall and it feels great to see the direct impact my donations and time have for children in need. I am always looking for ways to get people involved and to get more donations for C2C. C2C is a very special place!

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 4

It was great to find a happy home for some of our baby things that were no longer being used.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My daughter and I have been helping C2C for over a year now, and we love the staff, their dedication and commitment. They run a very professional organization!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 3

Thru my social organization, The Black Butterflies. I became familiar with this wonderful organization. I have volenteered a few times and look forward to helping this origanization continue to do a wonderful job in this community.
Thank You


C. Wright

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My children and I have volunteered here together. This organization is wonderful. It provides essentials for so many children and also allows my children and I the opportunity to tangibly do something to help. Thank you Cradles to Crayons.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 4

As president of a branch of a non-profit organization that has as part of its mission community outreach to our youth especially the inner city often disadvantaged youth. Perhaps one of the most rewarding outreach we have experienced as a relatively new branch was when we given warm winter coats during the winter which we distributed to our preteen and teens whom we have adopted. When we went to give out the coats,several of the girls were wearing sweatshirts,and hoodies on what was a particularly cold dayl. When we announced what we were going to give them they jumped up and down with glee but when we told them the name in the label they were ecstatic since according to one of their volunteers many of them long to wear a name brand article of clothing to fit in at school. The donation satisfied the need for a winter coat which several of them did not own but it also satisfied a social need that increased their self-esteem. For our members it was an extremely gratifying outreach thanks to the generous, unique Cradles to Crayons Inc. organization.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

I live outside of Philadelphia and wanted to donate some items that my children were no longer using. I have donated to other organizations but have just never been clear how my donations have been used. With Cradles to Crayons there has Nefertiti been a question in my mind wheee my donation is going. Everyone at the donation center was well informed, enthusiastic to be there, and helpful. I know that everything I donate is needed and appreciated.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My Son's 4th grade class had the opportunity to volunteer at Cradles to Crayons Inc, this year. What a great experience, this was the first time they were able to see what happens once donations are made to an organization. We will be back again to lend a helping hand!!!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer for a grade school in West Philadelphia, where 75% of the students are living below the federal poverty level. We met with Cradles to Crayons and the amazing and supportive staff provided us with information and resources to assist our families in need. From top to bottom, the staff is kind, compassionate and courteous. The process is extremely efficient. We enter the needs of the students on the C2C web site and our needs are quickly met. The systematic way that C2C works makes picking up the orders a breeze. The students at the school will also be able to give back by volunteering their time at Cradles to Crayons. Thank you Cradles to Crayons for supporting our students and boosting the self esteem.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

I was so lucky to have found C2C! I know that my donations are going to help children in need and my own children have been able to feel a great sense of pride in knowing they have helped someone else.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The staff and volunteers at C2C do a great job of making new volunteers feel comfortable and welcome. I have a blast helping out there and always look forward to helping as much as I can!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was looking for the opportunity to get involved with a worthy cause. I know I found it in CRADLES TO CRAYONS. The time spent helping out seems minimal when you realize the maximum return on the effort.

Review from Guidestar

Michelle M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered at Cradles to Crayons with my work and loved it so much that I'm going back with a group of friends to volunteer again. It was such a rewarding experience to know we are helping those in need in our community!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We volunteered at C to C with a group from my son's elementary school. It was a great experience. The staff was friendly and professional and the facility was well organized. I loved how everyone was able to help out even my 4-year-old son. We will definitely volunteer there again.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I came across this charity because my family participated in the Disney "Give A Day, Get A Day" program. I am a volunteer at our local school, so I felt very storngly about finding a charity that helped children. They were in the middle of a warehouse move when I first contacted them, but they were right on top of things. They responded to multiple emails in a timely and friendly fashion. They were a pleasure to work with.

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

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I love Cradles to Crayons!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is so awesome. They are an amazing charity.

Review from Guidestar

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

Donor

Rating: 5

I led a group to collect new underwwear and socks for the children this organization helps. When I dropped the items off, they were more than grateful for the donations. They also gave me a tour of the facility and explained how the organization works. I was amazed at how much stuff they had considering that it was shortly after the holidays. but they told me that it really wasn't as much stuff as it looked like due to the large number of children they serve! They told me as soon as the items were sorted, they would be going out to those who needed them. The list of children who are in need is made by the professionals who work with them. Cradles to Crayons puts together packets of clothing that contain everything a child would need for one week- plus warm outerwear and a toy or book. They told me that the hardest items to come are often socks and underwear since they need to be new. They also have sections for baby items and they also have a Birthday Club section where items that are new or nearly new can be chosen for a child's birthday. They seem to be a well-organized, and very caring organization. I was extremmely impressed by everyone I met there and with their enthusiasm and dedication

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our family has participated the last 2 years in their annual Family Giving Opportunity. We attend on a Saturday afternoon in November and for our donation we get to participate in sorting and packaging items that are to be given out. There is live music and lunch and it is a tremendous event!! All 7 of us love it and look forward to it!!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 3

Brought my young daughter to wrap gifts during the holiday and she felt so good that she was helping other kids - it really made an impression on her. She's thinking of making C2C her Bat Mitzvah project!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience with Cradles to Crayons was nothing but positive. I volunteered with other members of the Penn Law School community. Although we had a large group, the staff at Cradles to Crayons was able to get us working almost immediately. Collectively, we sorted a decent number of clothes, toys, books, etc. The staff was very helpful and cordial.

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

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My daughter, 2 friends and I all volunteered today -- can't say enough good things about this organization -- well run and a great experience

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer for Cradles to Crayons, as well as organized donation drives at my children's school, and I have always enjoyed the professional and caring environment in which this organization promotes social equity. I encourage the growth and prosperity of this organization in that it can continue to do its good work.

Thank you so much for all you do!

Review from Guidestar

Sharon W.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

My family volunteered with Cradles to Crayons, during the Disney Give a Day, Get a Day promotion, and had a great experience. The staff were enthusiastic and we wre able to get a great deal done, in a few hours. Even my younger child, who was 8, was able to be productive, making labels and sorting books. Subsequently, we donated items collected through my older daughter's Girl Scout troop. Cradles to Crayons has a great local reputation as a place where kids and teens can volunteer.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My daughter went with her girl scout brownie troop to volunteer at this organization. It was a great opportunity to talk to her about the fact that there are lots of children who need assistance, and to help her learn the importance of helping others.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I loved volunteering at cradles to crayons. It was fun work, especially sorting clothes. It was a great experience because the work we did was needed. The hardest part was checking the toys, but in general it was pretty easy.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I helped out when my local state representative, Ric Taylor, organized a Saturday morning day of volunteering. I was thrilled to find out what a great service Cradles to Crayons is providing to our community. I felt that I was really making a difference.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I wanted to find a worthy organization where I could introduce my younger children to volunteer work. Cradles to Crayons was perfect! For 2 1/2 hours, my 6 and 7 year olds and myself helped clean toys, count puzzle pieces and pack up books. It was work they could do and work they cared about. And best of all - it was all for those in need! We will definitely volunteer again.

Review from Guidestar

Robert U.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I spent an afternoon filling backpacks with school supplies. It was a great event. The staff at C2C has an enthusiasm that was contagious and they kept encouraging the volunteers to do more and more, but in a nice, funny way. Everyone responded and the event was a big success. I will do many more events with C2C!

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

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A few members of my book club really enjoyed volunteering for Cradles to Crayons. We were able to sort clothing and feel like we were helping families get the clothing they needed. It was great to see the huge warehouse and how the clothing packs get made.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

At first, I was just looking for something to enrich my resume. I found out C2C and felt interested. From the first time I went, I was very impressed that an organization was doing so much for the kids that in need but there was a lack of workers. This keeps me going. At the same time, I am meeting new people every time that I go and it is just wonderful.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I really enjoyed my Craydles to Crayons experience. I love that the toys and clothes go directly to the kids. They are also extremely organized, which makes volunteering really easy and fun.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My wife and I assisted in packing bags of donations for young children. It was a wonderful experience, humbling to see just how much help some people need. The staff was extremely accomodating and gracious. A great experience.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have thoroughly enjoy the experience of working at the Conshohocken branch of Cradles to Crayons...

It is especially satifying to me since the organization is geared toward helping children and it gives me the opportunity of once again shopping for baby clothes/supplies since my two grandsons are now 12 and 15... Also, having an outlet (with which I have first hand experience) to which to donate the toys and games that my two have outgrown is extremely gratifying.

Most importantly, however, I believe that the personnel and other volunteers at Cradles to Crayons are totally committed to the mission of helping children.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

The joy I seen on my children faces was priceless.Cradles to Crayons made me fill sooo happy that i was able to give sumthing to my children for Christmas.I am so happy that there are people out there who took the time to donate to my children and and smiles on their faces. Thank you so much Cradle to Crayons for everything and hopefully one day I can put a smile on some one children faces.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

I give time and money to a number of childrens' charities and I have never encountered one that is so transparent in what it does or so open to partnering with both willing volunteers and partnering agencies. They undersatnd that they need such partners to complete their mission of reaching needy kids. The value placed on these partnerships makes ctoc a joy to work with.

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

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

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Well-run organization that is needed to provide children with basic needs. Volunteering at their facility is a very satisfying experience.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I recently brought my team to C2C to volunteer. We spent our time sorting donated clothing and cleaning/sorting donated toys. Our group had a great time helping out and the staff at C2C really made us feel like we made a great contribution. I can't wait to bring my family to the warehouse for a day of contribution.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I represent a non-profit agency that has benefited from the items that are donated to Cradles to Crayons. This past winter we were hit with a number of snow and ice storms that left the city feeling cold and tired. We were able to pick up a donation of children's coats and jackets to distribute to our young clients during this time and it made a tremendous diffence in their lives. The smiles on the faces of these children were priceless. Thank you forimproving the lives of these children and for helping to keep them warm during these cold winter months.

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

Board Member

Rating: 5

I can't say enough about the impact that C2C has on our surrounding communities. Rarely do you see a relatively new organization like this continue to increase its outreach the way C2C has over their first 3+ years. The staff and management team are excellent and this organization is sure to be a fixture in the Delaware Valley for many years to come.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A few weeks ago my entire Brownie Troop (17 girls in all) volunteered at Cradles to Crayons, I cannot say enough about the organization. I think it's wonderful that Cradles to Crayons allowed our group to come in and volunteer, it's wonderful to introduce young people to giving back.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love volunteering with Cradles 2 Crayons! The essentials are thier focus & children always come 1st.... Please keep reaching out to communities & families!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Cradles to Crayons has opened my eyes, specifically the YLC program, with hands on volunteering and the chance to work with the people they help first hand. What Cradles to Crayons does starts with the basics so children have what they need to be able to succeed and thrive.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great organization, Great mission, Great employees, Great experience volunteering there. Great all around.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the pleasure of volunteering at C2C and found the organization to be well organized with a great staff! It was hard to believe that such a personally rewarding experience could be so enjoyable, but it was.

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

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I recently started volunteering and C2C and was amazed at the magnitude of the operation/

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My family volunteered with our state rep and had a great time. These folks do great work!

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

I am the Vice-President of our Elementary Schools Parent-Teacher Club and we were looking for a community service project that all of the children and staff could be a part of and also have a sense of how important their donations would be. We chose to collect new and gently used children's books. We were looking for a local charity to donate these books so the chidren would know that their donation stayed local. Through a pamphlet I found at a ocal community Center, I knew C2C was they place. Our students collected well over 2000 books and the staff at C2C were most aprreciative. They were more than accomodating to my many requests on how to run such a donation drive because it was something I never tried before and felt a little overwhelmed with the response. The C2C staff put my worries at ease and assured me that the books would not go unwanted. When we delivered the books, the entire staff had to help unload 2 trucks of books. They encouraged us to take a tour and my heart went out to what they were doing there. They have an incredible job and the hearts to prove it. My next project for community service will definitly include C2C

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

have volunteered with cub scout and church groups several times.
always a great experience, very accommodating and the kids have a good time and get a good learning experience

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

For the past several years, our office has not exchanged gifts among ourselves, but instead donated to a local organization. We have been impressed by the Cradles to Crayons organization, and has made this an annual event. Would love to do more.

Review from Guidestar