Mission & Model

The Need

Cradles to Crayons has a special niche, and—in its two host cities—meets a critical need.

More than 305,000 Massachusetts children 12 years old and younger live in poor or low-income households. In any given year, more than 100,000 Massachusetts children will experience homelessness.

Meanwhile, according to the U.S. 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.

But statistics don’t get to the heart of what we do. We help kids in poverty: kids who don’t have shoes that fit, or a coat warm enough to fend off winter winds, or a backpack to take their books and supplies to and from school. When kids don’t have these basics, they suffer. They have a hard time learning in school. They don’t feel valued.

Kids

The 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.

The Model

Cradles to Crayons collects new and nearly new children's items through grassroots community drives and corporate donations. Donations are then processed and packaged by volunteers, and are distributed to disadvantaged children across the state through a collaborative network of social service agencies and school partners.