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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

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Great experience. Great people. well organized. An excelent atmosphere. I was glad I could help and will be donating more of my time

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had a great time volunteering with Cradles to Crayons! I couldnt believe how many items were donated. I've realized that we can really make a difference in the lives of others. Cradles to Crayons was very organized, and their system seems to work very well. I would like to volunteer more often, especially after such a great experience. I would even like to recruit some of my friends and family to do so as well.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Although I had worked with this organization before, last night was my first time volunteering with them directly. I immediately noticed the staff's energy and good intentions. They were really concerned that the kids were receiving the best clothes; the staff person there told us to try to "coordinate outfits; make these kids stylish", and I could sense that he and the other staff members never lost sight of the palpable results of their work, which gave them the energy to work hard. Also, they rotated everyone after a while so that no one was doing the same task for extended periods of time, which increased everyone's efficiency. Overall, I think Cradles to Crayons is a fantastic organization and a wonderful volunteer experience.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 4

My sixth grade class volunteered at Cradles to Crayons. The staff did an excellent job giving the students an orientation and helping them understand what important work they were doing. The students commented on how friendly and caring the staff was and how much they enjoyed volunteering. This was a meaningful and worthwhile experience for my students.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What a fabulous organization helping kids in the philadelphia area. I volunteered for a long time there and also still donate items. Everyone really puts their heart into their work. Everytime I volunteered I felt very valued and appreciated by the staff! I love the baby room and knowing all that good stuff will reach needy children.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer at Cradles To Crayons. We started volunteering about a year ago and have invited and brought several friends! There are many opportunities for people of all ages to help. Our favorite area is "shopping" for the children. Non-profit organizations submit requests for donations for individual children. Volunteers "shop" through the donated items and bag the items for distribution. It is really very sad when a child has a need and that particular item is not available because C2C hasn't recieved donations of that particular item. They take donations of items for infants up through teen and always need more! If you can't come to help, please consider donating items! I would highly recommend C2C, my family of children ages 8-18 looks forward to each time we can go!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When you see all the requests for clothing and then you realize that all the requests cannot be met, your heart goes out to this organization....I've only been volunteering for a couple of years but what a wonderful feeling when you know you're truly helping children that are so in need of basic necessities. We've even started a collection drive within our volunteer group to provide socks and underwear (which have to be new) to Cradles to Crayons in addition to donating our time.
Cradles to Crayons provides a wonderful and very needed service.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

I found C2C online when I was looking for a reputable organization to donate my children's clothing to. The Conshocken, PA drop-off wasn't far from my home and was easy to get to. When I pulled up it couldn't have been easier to drop-off my boxes and bags to the young woman who assisted me in the loading area. As I looked around while unloading my items I was incredibly impressed with the vast number of items in the warehouse, but also how organized everything appeared to be. The yound woman had me fill out a receipt and then I was on my way. I signed up to be on the C2C email list and then signed up on Facebook. I really enjoy seeing the C2C updates on my Facebook newsfeed and look forward to personally volunteering, as well as donating more in the future. They do great work for deserving children.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

C2C is a well organized non-profit that I would not hesitate to volunteer again. I volunteered for the first time last night at C2C and everyone was so friendly. The night was extremely rewarding and it was amazing to see how many family’s in need they help. Can’t wait to go back!!

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

My school has been participating in C2C for the past 2 years. We start by collecting and sorting here at school. On MLK Day, we take a caravan with our donations to the C2C warehouse. This year we had the opportunity to have a tour and se C2C in action. It was a truly moving experience. We hope to have more collections during the year. We are also hopeful to bring a group of students down next year to particapte on site. I was personally touched having worked with students who may have been the recipients of some of the donations. I am now on the look out for things to buy for our next donation. It was a great experience for all those involved.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

my place of employment benefits from the services that C2C offers. C2C give to our clients small tokens that are greatly appreciated and valued. i thank C2C for all that they do.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I Love Cradles to Crayons! They are the best! I wish I can volunteer there more often!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Our office volunteer day was a huge success thanks to the ability of Cradles to Crayons' ability to accommodate a large group. The operation was very organized, the volunteer organizers were patient and pleasant, and by the end of the day we were really able to see the progress that our group had made. It was a satisfying experience, and I would love to do it again! Thanks Cradles to Crayons!

Review from Guidestar

Sheila B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I recently located to the Philadelphia area and had been a volunteer in Boston for many years. I've been able to a local sorority involved in volunteering at this great organization. It was an eye opener for many of the young women. On one visit, we were charged with creating a clothing pack for an 11 year old girl. The sorority sister innocently asked, "She only gets ONE coat and ONE pair of shoes?" Each sorority sister donated a jacket from their own closet the following week. I would say it's been an eye opener for them!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Donating to this great organization just made me feel great! Seeing the joy on the kids faces makes you want to give all the time!

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

We had many barely used infant items to donate and wanted to make sure that they would go to families that needed them. We had heard about C2C on the "Today Show" and did some research on the organization and we knew that this was the place to take the items. We were very impressed with the Conshohocken facility and plan to donate more baby items as are son grows out of them. Cradle to Crayons is a fantastic organization!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the opportunity to work as a volunteer for Cradles to Crayons over a one year period while taking some time off from work. This organization was incredible, providing much needed clothes, toys and supplies to mothers and children in need. The process worked so smoothly from the e-mail requests to fullfillment and pick up. The care with which the volunteers packed the orders was a reflection of the energy and caring provided by the staff. Respect and concern for the recipients was always the most important consideration. New toys were always on hand for birthday presents, the clothing was screened multiple times to ensure quality and equipment was cleaned and inspected - all to make sure that when a request was delivered the recipient could feel good about it. As a volunteer, the gratification was almost instant. You saw the requests come in, be filled and delivered to the requesting organizations.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

My Girl Scout troop collected holiday dresses to donate to C2C; we were very impressed by the warehouse facility and the organization's commitment and professionalism.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered at C2C several times. This is such a great organization that provides a valuable service to children in need and also encourages children to volunteer and give back to the community. For the children that volunteer it makes them realize and appreciate how fortunate they really are. The staff at C2C are very devoted and caring; assuring that each child gets the best that they can offer. I plan to continue to volunteer a C2C, it is one of the most rewarding organizations that I have volunteered.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Cradles to Crayons is an inspiring place to spend a morning or an afternoon. I have volunteered there several times, and I come away with a sense of the tremendous amount of concrete, measurable good that this organization does for kids in need. They deserve a rave review!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This past summer I volunteered at Cradles with my 3 kids. We all enjoyed having the opportunity to help kids in need. I like this organization because it's something I can do with my kids to teach them the joy of helping others.

Even my 5 year old was able to make a difference!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This summer I was a member of the Youth Leadership Council at Cradles to Crayons. Every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday over the summer we volunteered at the warehouse organizing, making KidPacks, and leading volunteers or took a fieldtrip to see how other non-profit organizations. I really enjoyed volunteering at the warehouse because I felt like I was really making a difference. I saw how important Cradles to Crayons was to the recipiets of the KidPacks when we went on the fieldtrips each week. The other non-profit organizations we visited often were connected to the children C2C provides KidPacks to. Without C2C, these children wouldn't have many of the items necessary to be safe, warm , and ready to learn. I am so honored to have gotten the chance to volunteer with such a fantastic, helpful organization.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been to Cradles to Crayons a few times, and every time I leave smiling. Whether I sorted clothes or packaged KidPacks, I felt as though I was making a difference in a fellow child's life. This past Tuesday night, I was packing up KidPacks, and one girl requested a jumprope for DoubleDutch. I found one in the toys bin! Another girl requested books, and I found one of my favorites (Chasing Vermeer) in the book bin. I hope she likes it as much as I did! Cradles to Crayons is an amazing organization with a purpose that is one of the most important around: giving kids clothes and supplies to learn. I love volunteering at Cradles to Crayons, and it is a gratifying way to help fellow kids.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered at Cradles to Crayons this past Tuesday and it was a few hours that were not only well spent serving others but also filled with fun. The workers and managers there are all very kind, amiable, and helpful, and make serving there fun. The room was nicely decorated and organized, and I greatly enjoyed my time.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was looking for a way to get my 9 year old in giving back to the community. Many organizations require their volunteers to be 14 or 16 years old. I was so happy to find this organization since we constantly have clothing and toys to donate that has been outgrown. This gave my daughter the opportunity to see where our donations go and to feel good about doing something for those who are not as fortunate as we are. She enjoyed her evening there sorting clothing and putting together bags for children that she cannot wait to go again. It is because this is such a friendly, caring group of people doing great work for kids in need!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We love to volunteer at C2C as a family!! My husband and I were so excited to find an opportunity for our elementary-aged girls to volunteer with us, helping other children in need. The Tuesday evening volunteer times fit our busy schedule. Our girls love helping! We have to drag them out the door at the end of the night! Volunteering at C2C really opens their eyes to the needs of other children, gives us a great bonding experience as a family and makes us even more grateful for our blessings. We now make it a point to volunteer at least once a season! The girls even coordinated a school wide clothing and toy drive for C2C in December.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering at Cradles when they were still in their old cramped facility. With the move to the new facilities about a year ago, we have been able to help many more people.

I am a non-traditional full-timre college student. I usually volunteer once during the week and whatever special events I can. This semester, I arranged my class schedule specifically so I would have time during the week to volunteer at Cradles.

I believe extremely highly in the work that Cradles does, I know the impact the organization has on the local community and its needy residents. C2C has many opportunities to help - from sorting donations, to cleaning donated toys to fulfilling orders for the community partners.

No matter your talent or time available, Cradles makes every volunteer welcome. Every staff member goes out of their way to thank you sincerely for your time and help.

The only thing about C2C's success is that we need additional volunteers. The winter weather this year has not made this easier.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Anyone looking to do hands-on work that is fullfilling for both adults and children, should consider Cradles to Crayons a terrific find. Specific tasks are broken down by the glad-to-be-working-here staff. Each one of us felt our work was valuable to the whole. There was ample work for us to do and it was varied. The best part is filling a parcel full of needed items for a particular child, and thinking of them as you do it. Joy-filled! And the organization is very organized!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Not only does C2C provide valuable services to children in need, it also encourages volunteerism in children. I took my girl scout troop to help out. The staff were great at keeping the girls engaged with varying tasks.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

MY son had done some volunteer work at Cradles to Crayons with his school. When I received an e-mail during the Christmas season asking for help, I volunteered my whole family. We had a wonderful time, putting together clothing and toy packs for needy children. I was extremely impressed with their organization and commitment. We had such a great experience, that we are all helping out again this weekend. There should be more organizations like Cradles to Crayons. Well Done

Review from Guidestar

Bryn C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I ahd heard about C2C and the great things they do, but I had no idea what an amazing organization it truly was until I saw it in action! Their staff there is so passionate they pass that along to every volunteer. I encourage everyone to stop by on the Friends and Family Volunteer nights to at least check it out! They can use every hand and heart :)

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Greetings,
My name is Cyndi and I was the project lead for Cradles to Crayons, represting Independence Blue Cross Blue Shield, and it was a great experience for me knowing that I was there making a difference helping children less fortunate... I hope to continue to incorporate cradles to crayons in my life .. the staff was very very nice and gracious to the volunteers looking forward to the next event!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Cradles to crayons is amazing! They do amazing work. With out there help and service many children would be cold and with out toys.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

Every parent of young children eventually has TONS of stuff to pass along or give away. My high-school daughter and I had a wonderful day going through lots of clothing, etc., in fine condition, then delivering it all to C2C. It was a good experience for us, and we were pleased that the items would continue to be used. I just wish it had been around when she and her brother were much younger. What a wonderful concept!

Review from Guidestar

andcompany

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a teenager, it's hard to find a good volunteer organization but Cradles is the perfect place! My family and I have been going there for about a year to help out and even had the opportunity to lead/ train other first time volunteers. It's also great knowing that the kids that receive this assistance aren't forever away; they're in our area. It being a fun place to volunteer is just an added bonus. (:

Review from Guidestar