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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

242 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've volunteered several times at the Philadelphia location with my former employer. The corporate sponsor days are a great way to show up with a huge group of people, tackle some big tasks, and help lots of kids! I love the backpack program every year which supplies kids with a backpack stuffed with school supplies in August before school starts. This year I was able to send a few handmade cards which also get included in each backpack. They also have offsite drop off locations which are posted on their Facebook page for convenient weekend drop offs. (They came to an Old Navy only a few miles from my house on a Saturday and I was able to donate any size small women's clothing to this program instead of a generic donation recipient.) Passionate people and great cause!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer here, and collect clothes to donate. The volunteer experience is well-organized and fulfilling, the space is cheerful, the volunteer leaders are upbeat and appreciative, and there is time built in to inform volunteers of how many needy children were served by the work we did that shift. It is easy to see that without our donations and time, children in dire need would not have basic clothing needs met. And that that toys, crafts, and books packed with a week's worth of clothing will give them a much-needed lift and feeling of care and nurturing when they most need it.

Lauren62

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Just finished a volunteer shift at Cradles to Crayons... a wonderful and fulfilling experience as always! C2C is so organized and well run, and provides a much needed and valuable service to those most vulnerable and in need, children! Volunteering at C2C is so fun and enjoyable, the time flies by - I wish I could volunteer more often, but so many people want to help out there is a wait list! It is so great to see so many different people come together to work for the common good! Great things happening at the C2C Giving Factory! :)

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband and I learned about Cradles to Crayons through our daughter. Her family (including 3 children under age 8) volunteer at Cradles to Crayons. Twice when we have visited from outside of MA, we volunteered with them. We especially like that Cradles to Crayons tries to provide the essentials that children need at home and out in the community. The focus of Cradles to Crayons is on children in need between the ages of birth and twelve. The items provided to the children in need are clean and in good condition. Cradles to Crayons is a great organization. I wish there were something like it in the community where we live.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with Cradles to Crayons for several years and it is an amazing organization. I have also brought in my kids to volunteer many times as well as my daughter's Girl Scout Troop. Cradles to Crayons is a wonderful place for kids and adults to help children in Massachusetts as well as learn more about the needs and how we can keep helping.

Carrie39

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering with Cradles to Crayons the summer of my sophomore year of high school. Now, I am a junior in college and still volunteering and giving back to this organization. I absolutely 100% back Cradles to Crayon's mission. I believe they are truly one of the best non-profit organizations around. I have been fortunate to be a volunteer,part of the Teen Leadership Team, and also a donor. Whenever I have items to donate, I always bring them to C2C. It's the first place that pops into my head. I am blessed to have had the experience of volunteering many hours in the C2C warehouse. I learn so much every time I visit and volunteer. The staff is wonderful and I can see that everyone genuinely loves what they do!!!

Sophia F.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

My son and I volunteered for the first time a month ago. It was our first time there and our first time volunteering at all. I didn't know what to expect but it went far beyond whatever I could have imagined. Not only was it inspiring from the moment you stepped in the door, with inspiring phrases on the walls, but throughout the whole process. Every aspect of this experience made you (at least me) feel that I was doing something important for a child. Watching the other volunteers helping, looking at all the clothing and toys being separated and cleaned, watching people shop for specific children, and then at the end rallying us all together to inform us of how many children we helped, really made me feel apart of something bigger than myself. My son enjoyed it as well and wanted to come again. And we did, my husband joining us the seond time. It also touched our hearts when we realized that there were kids who would not get certain items that they needed because there were none donated. This is a wonderul organization, the staff is amazing and I love it from top to bottom! I tell everyone I know about our experience and instagram everytime I go.

Sheila21

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our Company Gardner Resources Consulting volunteered at Cradles to Crayons in December 2011 and we enjoyed it so much that we are going back next December 2012. This organization helps many families in the Boston MA area. The staff are friendly and the layout of the building and donated items was very organized. They truly care.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

MANNAM-Boston has been so honored to be able to volunteer at and support Cradles to Crayons. This is one of the kindest, friendliest, and most loving organizations I have ever encountered. Their work is invaluable, and their dedication and passion shows in the amazing service they offer children in need. It is truly humbling and inspirational to volunteer with Cradles to Crayons. I support everything they stand for! Thank you for all that you do!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It only took one 2hr volunteer shift and I was hooked. I have been volunteering regularly now for over a year and I look forward to each trip. The work is hands on, the staff is beyond welcoming, the need is crucial and the results speak for themselves at the end of each day. The "Giving Factory" is one of my favorite places to be and I am often amazed at how many people feel the same way, and work together to make helping over 50,000 children in need a possibility each year.

Cathy42

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Cradles to crayons is an amazing organization. My family was looking for a place we could all volunteer together, and C2C has opportunities for even the youngest helpers. Their donation process is very efficient, and their staff is warm extremely engaged. We have had only wonderful experiences at the giving factory!!

Carlos7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love volunteering with cradles to crayons. C2C makes a tangible difference in the community, and it provides volunteers like myself a way to roll up our sleeves and not merely donate money or advise. Whether sorting through clothing, book, toys, to putting together clothing outfits and "kid packs" containing items to help low-income children thrive, you truly feel like you are making a big difference!

Ruth21

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Cradles to Crayons excites me in the way they involve the community to donate new and gently used children's clothes and supplies, rally volunteers to sort and pack them, and get them directly to those children who are most in need through social service agencies. Their mission to make every child feel cared for and supply the materials they need to succeed in school is dear to my heart. I have funneled supplies to donation sites for several years but recently had the opportunity to volunteer a shift at the Brighton Giving Factory. It was motivating to hear about the work they do beforehand, and learn how many children our two hour shift served. They are so well organized and made it so much fun the time flew by. I can't wait to do it again, and bring my friends!

Eleanor H.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Cradles to Crayons is a wonderful non-profit that does so much for needy kids. They make it a fun experience but also point out the ways that are are making a difference for kids. They distribute KidPacks to thousands of kids across the state of Massachusetts who are in need of clothes, books, toys, and more. I got to intern there in the summer of 2012 and it was a wonderful experience. Everyone at C2C is dedicated to the mission and they make it a wonderful place to volunteer!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've only had positive experiences with Cradles to Crayons. Everyone is enthusiastic, helpful, and happy. They are an organized, thorough, and wonderful organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering at Cradles to Crayons is such a meaningful and rewarding experience. Well organized, fun, and extremely efficient use of time...you leave feeling like you truly made a difference, and that your services and time were highly valued. Having volunteered for a number of years and as a former coordinator of service projects at a variety of nonprofit organizations, I can easily say that C2C is the best place I have had the privilege to volunteer. Additionally, it is an excellent place to bring children (over 5) to expose them to the importance of serving others...it's fun for them AND worthwhile. Can't say enough good things about this organization!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering with the wonderful people at this charity has been an amazing experience. The daily staff keep the momentum continuous and in a positive and constructive direction. As a former guidance counselor during my younger years I know that the cause presents a number of needs on an ongoing basis. Now that I am a parent I also see how much is involved in parenthood and the needs of families. It was only in the last few years that I have had the opportunity to volunteer with this charity. Having been an act volunteer with many different well supported charities I am overly impressed with the productivity of this group!

Mike C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with charities for the past 4 years, and I must say C2C is outstanding. Their organization is excellent and they really help volunteers see the direct impact just a few hours of their time can mean to the communities they serve.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

very friendly and extremely excited about their work. always busy, but more than enough work for everyone to get involved. great organization

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Three of my daughters volunteered at Cradles and Crayons. This is a very worthwhile charity and has very enthusiastic leadership.

Review from Guidestar