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Organization - Cradles To Crayons - Massachusetts

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Cradles To Crayons - Massachusetts
Last updated on August 6, 2014


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.

Our Model: We're the glue between communities that have and communities that need. We make it simple for children, families, corporations to give their time, treasures and talent to benefit other children in their community. By partnering with social service agencies for distribution, we have a direct channel to serve tens of thousands of children in need each year.

The Kids We Help: Living in poverty means no books, shoes that don't fit properly, a worn-out winter coat. When you donate to Cradles to Crayons, you can be absolutely sure that your donation goes to a deserving local child, for whom the donation was specifically requested. Partnering with social service agencies enables us to reach thousands of individual children each month. Our partners include hospitals, health centers, family-service agencies, shelters and schools, among others.

There is a great need for our services. Almost 500,000 Massachusetts kids (one out of three) live in poor or low-income households.* At some point this year, almost one in five of these children (98,000) will experience homlessness. Homeless families remain in a shelter, on average, for 6 months before finding permanent housing.** According to the US Census Bureau, Philadelphia has the highest poverty rate among the nation's ten largest cities. Nearly one in four Philadelphians, including 130,000 children, live in poverty.*** We opened our second Giving Factory there, this summer.

C2C provides year-round support for children in these situations.

The Kids Who Help Us: At the same time, there are families looking for new homes for never-used or gently-used clothing, books, toys and other "stuff" their own kids have outgrown or no longer use. C2C serves as a bridge connecting those who have more with those who have less, effectively tearing down the invisible walls dividing our communities.

Thousands of kids, every year, give us their treasures, hold product drives and work a "shift" at our warehouse, The Giving Factory. In the doing, C2C kids experience enduring understanding and learn real lessons in leadership, social justice, service and the power of giving. We call it "tangible philanthropy".

*Source: National Center for Children and Poverty
** Source: Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless
*** Source: Philadelphia Inquirer (9/5/06)

In 2002, business strategy consultant and former White House policy advisor, Lynn Margherio, noticed how many outgrown clothes and toys her nieces and nephews owned—in virtually new condition. She knew many less-fortunate kids could use the items, but she discovered that it was often difficult for the families who had the items to connect to the families who needed them. Lynn founded Cradles to Crayons to fill this need.

Five years later, more than 75,000 local children-in-need have received Cradles to Crayons packages. This has been made possible by a grassroots network of more than 20,000 youth and adults who have shared their time, treasures and talent with us so we have what we need to fill the hundreds of requests we receive every week, and a distribution network of over 300 social service agencies who deliver our packages to the clients they serve. In 2006 alone, 30,000 local children received high-quality children's goods to keep them warm, safe at home, and ready to learn at school.

Through community partnerships with neighbors, schools and companies, as well as civic and faith-based organizations, we generate the supply of products and labor needed to expand our services. Through distribution partnerships with shelters, health centers, schools, parenting programs and day cares, we directly reach the children who are most at-risk and in-need.

Contact person: Volunteer C2C, Volunteer Coordinator, (phone), (email)

Office fax number: (866) 841-9995

 155 North Beacon St.
Brighton, MA 02135
This location is handicap accessible
(See a map)

Web Site:


 DIRECTIONS From 90W: ■Take exit 20 toward Brighton/Cambridge ■Keep left after the tolls to head towards Brighton ■After the toll, merge onto Cambridge Street and continue for about 1.5 miles, over Route 90. ■Take a right onto North Beacon Street (right after the Walgreens) ■Continue. . . (more)
  Nearest Metro/Subway Stop: Green Line- Warren Street,
  Walk distance (in minutes): 15
  Nearest Bus Stop: 64/86, 2 minute walk

Miscellaneous Information
What is the type of this organization?
501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization
Does the agency conduct CORI checks?
Last updated on August 6, 2014

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