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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Cradles to Crayons

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Volunteering Oportunities

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

3 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

I can't say enough about the impact that C2C has on our surrounding communities. Rarely do you see a relatively new organization like this continue to increase its outreach the way C2C has over their first 3+ years. The staff and management team are excellent and this organization is sure to be a fixture in the Delaware Valley for many years to come.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with the Cradles to Crayon for some time both as a Board member and a volunteer. They are a well run organization and have done an outstanding job managing their phenomenal growth and serving their client needs. Their model of recycling and giving back is sustainable and easy to support. It's rare to come across an organization that will allow all members of the family to get involved from a volunteer perspective. Cradles to Crayons allows for meaningful, hands-on volunteering. It's a great organization and one with which I'm proud to be involved.

Review from Guidestar

Beth S.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with C2C since its inception in Philadelphia and have only gained appreciation and enthusiasm for this great organization. One of the things I love the most is that C2C by definition brings communities together. In providing the valuable service of delivering essential items (clothes, school supplies, books, etc) to low-income and homeless children C2C creates community collaborations - volunteers from every source imaginable (families, corporations, schools, faith-based orgs, etc.) accomplish much of the work and partnerships with social service agencies enable distribution of the products to the children. C2C had a deep and measurable impact from the day it opened its doors; everyone wins by supporting and working with Cradles to Crayons.