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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

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

Volunteer

Rating: 4

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

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

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

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