Meet Patrick from Cradles to Crayons & Learn About our #GivingWall
December 12, 2017
This holiday season, we chose Cradles to Crayons as our final charitable initiative of the year. Learn more about their story and what drew us to become involved:
- Can you provide us with an overview of the Cradles to Crayons mission, founder, and how it all started?
The Cradles to Crayons story began in a bedroom drawer. While founder Lynn Margherio was helping her young niece get dressed, she noticed many pieces of clothing were outgrown. Others were never worn, with price tags still on them.
Lynn thought: “What if these like-new and never-used things could find their way to children who really need them?”
Less than two years later in 2002, Lynn launched Cradles to Crayons in Boston. Since our inception, we’ve grown in Massachusetts and beyond: Philadelphia in 2006, Chicago in 2016, and two more sites in the planning stages.
Through it all, our mission remains clear: to provide children from birth through age 12 with the everyday essentials they need to thrive — at home, at school, and at play. Our overarching vision — a future free of childhood poverty — inspires our work every day.
By making it convenient to turn compassion into action, our model enables us to connect those in our communities who have with those who are in need. We achieve this by offering meaningful volunteer experiences for people of all ages and backgrounds who want to engage in our work, and by communicating clearly about the impact of their support.
- How do you receive funding and recruit volunteers?
We receive funding from families, corporations, and from foundations. Believe it or not, the majority of our funding comes from Families and Individuals!
- Do you have an idea of how many children in the Boston community C2C has supported? (this year, last year, any stats you have would be great!)
Last year we impacted more than 145,000 children and we are committed to helping out the same number of kids again this year! Last year we celebrated our 1 millionth child served!
- What item(s) are in the highest demand? What do the kids need most? (big & small)
Our biggest need is for children’s clothing- specifically these sizes: Children’s clothing (Boys 7/8, 10, 12, 14/16) (Girls 7/8, 12, 18/20)
- Do you have any happy stories you can share (perhaps of previous recipients now volunteering or anything along those lines?) / proud moments?
Yes! We have some great stories. Recently, a toddler named Alexander donated a pair of his PJ’s to us that were engraved with his name. An item like that is incredibly hard to give out because we need to match the name and size with a child that has ordered that week.
We did some digging in our system and found that a toddler named Alexander actually did place an order for clothing. It may seem like a small thing, but the child was ecstatic to receive a brand-new piece of clothing with his name on it.
- What has been the organizations greatest challenge(s)? Are there any times of the year when you are lacking volunteers/support?
As we seek to expand our services to help more children we need more clothing, more funding, and more volunteers! We typically struggle with volunteer numbers most in January and February.
- What is one major lesson/takeaway you have gathered through your work with the organization?
One takeaway is that when people come together to make something happen, it can have a profound effect. It takes so many different pieces to create the puzzle that is Cradles to Crayons. We have an entire team dedicated to going out in the community to host collection drives all over the state.
As much as our work depends on the large product purchases that we are able to make due to our donors it also depends on people emptying out their closets and donating their used belongings! It’s a great model because anyone anywhere can help!
- Is there anything else we should know? / What are C2C’s future plans (expansion, continuing to serve local communities, etc)?
We are currently in three cities, Boston, Philadelphia, and Chicago, but we hope to soon expand to another city! We really want to expand our services to help more children.
Thank you for your time Patrick and for providing our friends and family a deeper look behind Cradles to Crayons. If you would like to participate and donate an item still on our #givingwall, head to our Amazon wishlist that will send items directly to the Giving Factory: http://po.st/norbcares