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.
“I couldn’t afford to pay my rent and also buy diapers and clothes for Madeline when she was born. I couldn’t take her outside when it got cold. When we got the package from Cradles to Crayons, all of a sudden I had warm clothing, diapers, books, and a bassinet so she could sleep safely. Not having to buy those things was huge for me — I didn’t have to worry about the rent and Madeline had the things she needed. Thank you, Cradles to Crayons.”
– Miranda, Madeline’s Mother
The Need is Urgent, Yet Often Overlooked
Childhood poverty is a serious nationwide issue. The average U.S. family in poverty, with two adults and two children, lives on less than $26,500 a year. Consider these staggering statistics from the regions where Cradles to Crayons currently operates:
More than 1 in 3 Massachusetts children, 12 years old and younger, live in low-income or homeless situations.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Philadelphia has the highest poverty rate among the nation’s ten largest cities. 3 in 5 Philadelphian children live in poverty.
1 in 2 children in Chicago live in low income and homeless situations.
Without adequate and appropriate clothing, children face unfair barriers and participate in life on an unequal playing field. Across most of the United States, only three (food, housing, energy) of four basic needs are supported by government safety net programs. Cradles to Crayons uses the term “Clothing Insecurity” as part of our efforts to formally recognize the issue, and increase awareness on this hidden basic need.
Our efficient and effective three-step model provides kids with the essentials they need, free of charge. This enables us to engage communities that have, connecting them with communities that need.
New and nearly new children’s items are collected through grassroots community drives and corporate donations.
Donations are then processed and packaged by volunteers in our warehouse, The Giving Factory®.
Packages from The Giving Factory are distributed to local children — through our collaborative network of diverse service partners.
Each year, Cradles to Crayons helps thousands of children receive the critical essentials they need to thrive at home, school, and play.