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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

30 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I believe that Cradle To Crayons can use every dollar given. They look for ways to maximize the way that they can help children in our communities.

Donor

Rating: 5

My company donated 60 Outfit Packs to Cradles to Crayons.

Donor

Rating: 5

This is an impressive organization!

My first experience with C2C was through our school, the Shipley School, where I participated in a number of clothing & equipment drives. During that time heard so many positive things about C2C that when I had additional items to donate I decided to visit the drop location myself. The building was clean and well-organized. I was greeted by friendly and dedicated volunteers who helped me unload my car and gave me a tour of the facility. I could see so clearly how their system worked -- items would be collected, sorted and eventually allocated to those who were most in need of them.

During my tour, a group of people from a law firm were volunteering their time that day. They looked to be enjoying themselves and getting a lot accomplished. I plan to take my girls to the facility to volunteer in the future.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

This is a terrific organization that helps the needs of so many. My students at J.R. Masterman have done clothing fundraisers for them over the years as they reach out to families in need right in our community. We are lucky to have such a group.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

Cradles to Crayons is a well run organziation that fills a true void in the non-profit world. The organization is very effective and efficient. I suggested my neighbor's daughter have her birthday party there as she was looking for a positive world experience rather than more "stuff." The girls were taught a bit about the C2C mission so that they would understand how their efforts contributed, and then kept busy with meaningful work. They had a great time AND felt like the really did something to benefit others. I also think the program targeted at high school kids over the summer is an excellent idea, teaching kids to care for others and learn to give back, as well as the benefits of volunteering.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

The church I attend holds a Yard Sale for Kids' Stuff twice a year. During the sale we encourage people to buy items and donate them at our C2C Collection Station. In order to prepare to educate the congregation about C2C, I took our videographer to the warehouse. We got an in-depth look at the whole process, from inspecting and sorting donations to the preparation of bags of goods to go out the door. We were impressed. So was our congregation. We received a truckload of donations and are convinced that every item wound up in the hands of someone who needed that item.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

When I first learned about Cradles to Crayons through a friend, I immediately liked the idea of sharing items instead of paying for them. On my first trip to the drop off site, I was invited in for a tour of the facility in Conshohocken. It was well organized and very clean, They have a very thoughtful approach to providing age appropriate toys, school supplies, books and clothing to children in need. From donor to recipient, the guide showed me the process of how contributions directly help children. I now collect items from my neighbors and make monthly trips to Cradles to Crayons. They do an excellent job!

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 4

It was great to find a happy home for some of our baby things that were no longer being used.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

I live outside of Philadelphia and wanted to donate some items that my children were no longer using. I have donated to other organizations but have just never been clear how my donations have been used. With Cradles to Crayons there has Nefertiti been a question in my mind wheee my donation is going. Everyone at the donation center was well informed, enthusiastic to be there, and helpful. I know that everything I donate is needed and appreciated.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

I was so lucky to have found C2C! I know that my donations are going to help children in need and my own children have been able to feel a great sense of pride in knowing they have helped someone else.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

I led a group to collect new underwwear and socks for the children this organization helps. When I dropped the items off, they were more than grateful for the donations. They also gave me a tour of the facility and explained how the organization works. I was amazed at how much stuff they had considering that it was shortly after the holidays. but they told me that it really wasn't as much stuff as it looked like due to the large number of children they serve! They told me as soon as the items were sorted, they would be going out to those who needed them. The list of children who are in need is made by the professionals who work with them. Cradles to Crayons puts together packets of clothing that contain everything a child would need for one week- plus warm outerwear and a toy or book. They told me that the hardest items to come are often socks and underwear since they need to be new. They also have sections for baby items and they also have a Birthday Club section where items that are new or nearly new can be chosen for a child's birthday. They seem to be a well-organized, and very caring organization. I was extremmely impressed by everyone I met there and with their enthusiasm and dedication

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

I give time and money to a number of childrens' charities and I have never encountered one that is so transparent in what it does or so open to partnering with both willing volunteers and partnering agencies. They undersatnd that they need such partners to complete their mission of reaching needy kids. The value placed on these partnerships makes ctoc a joy to work with.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

I am the Vice-President of our Elementary Schools Parent-Teacher Club and we were looking for a community service project that all of the children and staff could be a part of and also have a sense of how important their donations would be. We chose to collect new and gently used children's books. We were looking for a local charity to donate these books so the chidren would know that their donation stayed local. Through a pamphlet I found at a ocal community Center, I knew C2C was they place. Our students collected well over 2000 books and the staff at C2C were most aprreciative. They were more than accomodating to my many requests on how to run such a donation drive because it was something I never tried before and felt a little overwhelmed with the response. The C2C staff put my worries at ease and assured me that the books would not go unwanted. When we delivered the books, the entire staff had to help unload 2 trucks of books. They encouraged us to take a tour and my heart went out to what they were doing there. They have an incredible job and the hearts to prove it. My next project for community service will definitly include C2C

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

For the past several years, our office has not exchanged gifts among ourselves, but instead donated to a local organization. We have been impressed by the Cradles to Crayons organization, and has made this an annual event. Would love to do more.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

Our school participated in a winter clothing drive with C2C in Philadelphia. The staff at C2C was great and it was an easy process. Some of our student also volunteered at the donation center.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

One of the amazing things about Cradles to Crayons (CTC) is their outreach and volunteer involvement. Of course, the main things is the number of needy served.

So when you combine their management team, donors, and volunteer network with their mission of helping those children from cradles to crayons you get a fantastic organization doing a fantastic thing!

Donor

Rating: 5

I was happy to find C2C. My daughter is now 7, and being the first grandchild on both sides we had accumulated a ton of clothes and toys over the years. I was happy to find a place that was local and supported our community. In addition, the staff at C2C was very helpful and friendly.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

When deciding that we were done having children, I was heartbroken to part with all our baby stuff. What made it easier was knowing that it would go to another Mom who would use it and appreciate it like I did. Cradles to Crayons sincerely seemed to appreciate my donation, and I know that someone in need will value it too. Thanks for being there and helping those in need:-)

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

Looked for an organization like this one for a long time. We are so happy to have found them so they can help us help others!

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

I found C2C online when I was looking for a reputable organization to donate my children's clothing to. The Conshocken, PA drop-off wasn't far from my home and was easy to get to. When I pulled up it couldn't have been easier to drop-off my boxes and bags to the young woman who assisted me in the loading area. As I looked around while unloading my items I was incredibly impressed with the vast number of items in the warehouse, but also how organized everything appeared to be. The yound woman had me fill out a receipt and then I was on my way. I signed up to be on the C2C email list and then signed up on Facebook. I really enjoy seeing the C2C updates on my Facebook newsfeed and look forward to personally volunteering, as well as donating more in the future. They do great work for deserving children.

Review from Guidestar