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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

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great organization that helps the children of the area; very flexible with accepting volunteers and trying to match volunteers' times with the times they have available. Very friendly staff who care about what they're doing.

Review from Guidestar

Chrissy L.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been to Cradles to Crayons to volunteer with my nieces girl scouts troop, my sister, mom and aunts, my kids and on my own. It is a place for people of all ages and backgrounds to give back to those who might be less fortunate in the community. I could not think of a better place to donate my time and items to.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My wife invited me to join her in helping to fill orders prior to Christmas. Little did I know that this experience would create a unique and fullfilling experience. Participating in Cradles to Crayons taught me about the needs that existed in my backyard, the generosity of people and the team work that went into serving the needs of our community. I intend to continue to help in the future.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I donated all of my baby items to Cradles to Crayons. They were wonderful to deal with and I'm so happy to be able to help those in my community. It's a wonderful treasure to pass on perfectly good items to those in need, instead of sending them to the landfill. Just think of all of the kids being helped every year!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the privilege to organize a volunteer day for work. We were able to collect items that were in high demand and also were able to get local business to donate gift cards to purchase items that needed to be new( bottles, underwear etc) Thanks to Target, Walmart and the donations from our group we were able to supply many children with things that they need the most. This organization is amazing. They provide so many needy children with the essentials that they otherwise might not have. I don't think people realize how many children are in need, and C2C is an organization that makes it easy, and fun to help these children. I am looking forward to organizing our even at C2C again.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I feel that C2C mission & how the staff/volunteers goes about fullify that mission is amazing. The care that is given to every donated item, to make sure the item is safe, clean & age appropriate is extrodinary. The child receives good quality clothing, toys with all their parts, books & school supplies to expand their minds. C2C looks to help children in many facets of their lives. I have volunteered at a variety of different organizations but I found my time at C2C to be most rewarding & productive. Thank you for the opportunity.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

At my company in Blue Bell, we are fortunate to be able spend a day each month volunteering in our area. That is how I was introduced to C2C. From the moment we arrived to the time we left, I was truly amazed by the magnitude, compassion and efficency of this organization.
This was one of the most rewarding days spent in a long time. Helping children, especially durning the harsh winter months, was so rewarding.
A very big thank you to all the C2C volunteers and donors!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

For the past several years, I've been privileged to have the opportunity to joing fellow co-workers volunteering out time at C2C in Philadelphia. It's an opportunity for co-workers to join with their families not only volunteering our time but teaching our children the importance of helping others. I always walk away feeling like I helped someone and made their day a little better!

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

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

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