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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: 5

My daughter and I volunteered at Cradles to to Crayons A Family Time to Give event. It was amazingly well run and organized. We sorted donated clothing and put together arts and crafts packages for children in need. It was an excellent opportunity for both of us to help and we both felt great about what we were doing and spending time together doing it. We plan on volunteering more of our time. This organization made it easy to give of our time and help others. Very impressed.

Review from Guidestar

Csilla H.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am volunteering at Cradles to Crayons for years now with my family(kid's age is 15 and 10) and my husband's company, Deloitte. We always have a fun day there, we all love to make a difference in people's life. Two years ago I organized a Collection Drive with my daughter's Girl Scout troop. It was a huge success! Next school year we are planning to do it again.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our work group of 10 was privileged to spend one day volunteering at cradles to crayons. Our experience was very fulfilling, imagine that we were giving but we were the ones receiving. We were greeted promptly upon arrival by Brian who gave us a concise uderstanding of what we could expect and what was expected of us. Brian did an amazing job of organizing us into work groups. It was a great joy to be working withj team members on a totally different kind of task. It was so rewarding to see the work we'd done, backpacks, school supplies organized. Brian broke up our tasks so that each group experienced the diversity of the work done by the Cradles to Crayons group. In summary, the work done here is very organized and effiicient, providing underprivilged children with quality items. I will tell everyone I know about our great experience with Cradles to crayons and recommend they donate items to the cause. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to volunteer at Cradles to Crayons

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Cradles to Crayons in Conshocken, PA is a relaxed and, at the same time, energized place to go and feel good about helping children. The staff is organized and clear in directing volunteers, but also flexible about hours and tasks you can do. I especially like making clothing bags for the children and coordinating outfits. Brian and the rest of the staff are welcome to groups and single volunteers. I've met great people when I've volunteered by myself. Thanks C2C for the rewarding experience!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I really enjoyed volunteering at Cradle to Crayons. I volunteered with 5 other family members and the youngest being a 16 year old. The people were great and the organization has a great purpose. We were the last to leave the warehouse that night with 2 others and the staff and we didnt think twice about it. There was no rush to leave because we enjoyed helping. Best of all. My 16 year old nephew came up to me at the end and said he wanted to come back and bring back some toys that he had been holding on to for years now. He said I think its time to give them away and they can give it to some little boy. I was so proud of him. He enjoyed it and we plan to go back!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I brought my husband and sons ages 5 and 7 to volunteer. My oldest was finishing up his work to earn a cub scout badge.

We really enjoyed the special time we spent volunteering at C2C, the boys were upset when it was time to leave, they wanted to stay longer.

The wonderful experience is prompting us to volunteer during one of the evening sessions.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My parents, sisters and I volunteered at C2C for the 2010 holidays. I knew what we would be doing based of what my mom told us (she's volunteered a few times for work) but it was still nothing I've ever expierenced before. The people working were helpful and real nice. The space was huge. The only downside of our time there was that we waited a while for our group to get started and it felt like it took some of the little time we had there away.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I went to C2C for an Episcopal Academy day of service and was extremely impressed by their level of organization and the amount of great work being accomplished. They really strive to provide the basics that every child should have, and they bundle it so nicely so that it's all together in a package. We were instructed to match items carefully and to only use the items that looked nice and new. It was good to see that such thought went into how the children and parents would feel about their donations.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered for Martin Luther King's Day of Service through my company's Volunteer Match program. It was my first time at the Cradle's to Crayons site. It was a wonderful experience because they had everything organized...from sorting clothes and books to picking out the items needed (age specific and gender specific) for the children. Everyone was cheerful and helpful with one loving purpose in mind, helping less fortunate children. When I was getting the bags of clothes, toys and books for a child, I said a little prayer before sending it off to the proper bin for pick up. It breaks my heart to know a child is in need of just the simple basics. I was there all day but the time flew and I felt I needed to do more when it was time to go. In the future I will get others to donate to this cause and I will try to have my church participate in the tasks needed there, because it is such a worthy cause.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

C2C has heart and soul. The experience reinforces that it is not about each of us as individuals, but all of us as a whole...united for a common goal. It is the "behind-the-scenes" approach that makes life a little more bearable for those struggling on the homefront. It is a Making a Difference reality and an opportunity for all. C2C has a heartbeat and a genuine love for all it does and for everyone it touches. It is a concept that welcomes all ages to share and contribute what they can whether it be time or material contributions. C2C gives inspiration and hope and for me stands for Compassion 2 Children. The entire organization runs well and is organized and structured so output from volunteers is productive.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I organized my son's class trip to Cradles and Crayons and was so impressed with how easy they are to work with and how wonderfully they engage students to help. They are a talented group who are wonderful at sharing the gift of giving!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Every experience with Cradles to Crayons is a rewarding one. When I leave the Giving Factory, I know thay my efforts have provided a better life for a family in need. The staff at the Conshohocken, PA location specifically is great in giving new volunteers a tutorial on C2C and they show you what the reuslts of your volunteer hours are. If you are looking for a rewarding experience while having an fun time, Craldes to Crayons is the place to volunteer.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our Health Safety and Performance team spent a Day volunteering at Cradles to Crayons in Conshohocken.
During the course of the day the team put together 37 stylish outfit packs, inspected and sorted at least 40 toys and completed 30 orders for individual children? This directly allowed Cradles to Crayons serve at least 77 children. 500 backpacks and 75 boxes of school supplies were organized for their upcoming Backpack-A-Thon. The goal of this event is to pack 10,000 backpacks with basic school supplies for underserved children who will soon be returning to school.
Our team was overwhelmed by the welcoming, helpful support we received from the staff of Cradles to Crayons. We are all spreading the word about donations of used clothing, toys, books etc. Our day volunteering as a team created a memorable bond with each other, and the Delaware Valley Community.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I tllk my students to volunteer and Brian and staff were very attentive to the kids' needs even though we were there to serve them. They rotated my students through various stations so the kids would get the full scope of this program and really feel a part of the solution. Cradles to Crayons was large enough to acomodate my whole group which is also a great benefit to me. Everyone felt great after this experience.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization is incredible in what they accomplish for others. The first time I volunteered I was blown away by the VOLUME of kids needing help - and how many young lives C2C has touched. I can only imagine the smiles on the faces of the children who receive the kits (not to mention their parents!) - the cloths, toys, books - it is amazing!! It is a great feeling to be able to spend a little time helping this amazing organization - what an inspiration!!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am an administrator at a local public school and we are fortunate to be a recipient of the donations from C2C to assist our young teenage student parents. As a token of our appreciation I have had the pleasure of volunteering at C2C several times in the last 6 months along with co-workers as well as my niece & nephew. It is now becoming a family tradition to volunteer at C2C. It is a great experience to help an organization that does so much in our community and specifically with our students. The C2C staff is respectful, wonderful and enthusiastic about the work they do. The volunteering process is easy and the staff is always there to guide the young and mature volunteers.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

While I was doing my international internship in the USA, I also had the opportunity to work with cradles to crayons.
I really liked the atmosphere and the people we worked with.
Cradles to crayons is a wonderful organization and I appreciate everything they do.
Thank you for a wonderful experience.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

We found Cradles to Crayons through my husbands company. They volunteered for the day and he was really impressed with the organization. It helps such a wide range of ages for children and they go above and beyond thinking about the needs of the children. My sons are 6 and 3 and they gather up their toys that they don't play with anymore and we drive over there and donate them. It is a nice feeling to know that we have a place like this close to home that is making a difference and we are looking forward to volunteering there as well. I have told many friends and family about CtoC and will contine to spread the word. MaryJo Greco

Review from Guidestar

Patricia D.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first went to Cradles to Crayons Philadelphia with my GlaxoSmithKline work group as part of a volunteering day. I was instantly impressed by the amount of donations received at the site, as well as the organization of the different items (clothes, toys, shoes, books, etc) at the site. In addition, everyone at the site was so friendly and easy to work with. I left that day feeling like I had actually done something worthwhile, and it was a great feeling that I was able to help out. I wanted to find out more ways to help out such a great organization.
After moving closer to the site in Conshohocken, I learned about the Young Friends of Cradles to Crayons. I knew that this was my opportunity to get more involved, and I have now been a part of the group for ~3 months. My roommates and I attend the volunteering sessions each month, and have attended other events to raise money for the organization. Knowing that my time is going towards keeping kids warm and making them smile is probably my favorite part of being involved with Cradles to Crayons. I think that Cradles to Crayons is a truly amazing organization that is run well and I am very proud to say that I volunteer for Cradles to Crayons.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My high school aged children and I volunteered at Cradles to Crayons multiple times over the last 2 years. By having an opportunity to work in a variety of different areas in the warehouse, we could see how our work touched a multitude of people. Well organized volunteer coordinators make this truly fulfilling volunteer experience.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My college age daughter and I volunteered at Cradles-to-Crayons several times during the past summer. The staff was engaged and clearly passionate about their work. They are well organized, and have a very easy to follow workflow. I plan on bringing my youngest son's Cub Scout den to sort clothes as a community service activity in the near future.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

I volunteer with Cradles 2 Crayons in Philadelphia through my work. I learned a lot about the organization through my volunteer experience. I was so impressed with their business model that I began directing my United Way donations to their organization so I can assist their cause even when I can't donate my time.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Recently my son organized a family 'volunteer evening' at Cradles To Crayons. The staff was very well organized and made us feel at home.

It is easy to see how important the work is to the underserved community in Philadelphia, made possible by Cradles to Crayons.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This past Saturday 2/5 was the first time I volunteered with C2C and was thoroughly impressed with the organization. It is very well run and organized and as a volunteer, I felt appreciated and that my efforts will directly have a positive impact on the children. I would (and have) recommended the organization to friends and family as a place they should consider becoming involved with in the near future.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I loved that Cradles to Crayons made it extremely easy to volunteer and help our greater community. We held a drive at our church and it was so much fun to see how all ages were excited to drop stuff off in our bin. This really is an all ages experience that benefits our neighbors!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My business group spent a day recently volunteering at Cradles to Crayons in Conshohocken, PA. Firstly, we were impressed with the organization and set up of the 'Giving Factory'. The workers were friendly and very helpful. We were allowed to work on various stages of the giving process, from packaging school supplies to sorting and folding clothing, to filling orders for needy children. It was an inspirational and very satisying day. We really felt that Cradles to Crayons did the most good for really deserving families than many other non profits where we have volunteered.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The company I work for does a collection for Cradles to Crayons in Chesterbrook. I volunteered to go to the Craydles to Crayons location in Concohochken and was very surprised at what I found. The facility was absolutely amazing, I volunteered to unload trucks of donations, how this was all organized truly amazed me. I was in awe of the people who ran this facility, their generosity and thankfulness shown to us was unbelievable. I enjoyed my day there and look forward to going again, I was honestly blown away at how the whole operaton works and the lives that they touch. Just Awesome and Amazing.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is an amazing organization which allows volunteers to have a hands-on experience by helping children in our community who are in need. Thus far, my child & I have done anything from clothing quality checks, cleaning/repairing toys, sorting, or putting together the end 'kit' for an individual child. As a single parent, one reason C2C got my attention aside from the cause, is that children are able to be just as involved in the process. Since I work full time, we can only participate in the evening volunteer nights, but my child asks me every Monday, 'are we going to C2C tomorrow?' with such excitement! And I look forward to our 2n/d & 4th Tuesday evenings just as much! It's a wonderful opportunity not only for families, but social service groups, adult social groups, school organizations & even corporate events! If you work in the area, consider spending your lunch hour volunteering with some coworkers! The staff is welcoming & encouraging. We can't wait until our next volunteer night!

Review from Guidestar

Sarah T.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering on Young Friend's Night. It's a great experience. They are well organized and always have things for us to do. This is a great way to give back to your community.

Review from Guidestar

Marlyn G.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My children have learned so much by volunteering at Cradles to Crayons, Philadelphia. We have volunteered as a family, with girl scouts and youth groups. As a social worker, I love that my kids can actively participate in a hands on project where they know other kids will be helped. My 6 year old, gladly goes through her toys and even used some of her birthday money to buy new gifts to donate to C2C.

We like that we know we are helping in our community! Thanks to a great staff who are easy to work with and doing such amazing things for the Greater Philadelphia community.

















Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I work at a provider agency that regularly orders "Kids Packs", clothes, coats and baby supplies from C2C for our clients in need. Having C2C in our area has made our job of finding clothing for children in need so much easier. We know we can always rely on C2C to provide gently used, fashionable clothing to our clients and they usually throw in some age appropriate toys as well. Our clients love receiving the clothes that are always very much needed. Parents have reduced stress by being able to provide for their children. I can't say enough about how great C2C has been for our community!

Review from Guidestar

Jacqueline N.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer there on a regular basis. This is an organization that goes above and beyond to help children in need. It is amazing what you can do with gently used and new items and what it can mean to a family that needs a little helping hand.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered this past Martin Luther King Day at the Phila., PA site. It was an amazing experience. The whole process was so thought out and went smoothly. I was able to do this with my 7 year old son which made the concept of helping kids who have less than us more tangible for him. I look forward to volunteering again with my whole family and donating items that my son outgrows to a worthy cause.

Review from Guidestar