Boston

Volunteer FAQ

Do I need to sign up in advance, or can I just stop by to volunteer?

How old do I have to be to volunteer at the Giving Factory?

I'm a middle/high school student. How can I get more involved?

What are the adult-to-student ratio requirements to volunteer at the Giving Factory?

Do 18 year old High School students count as chaperones?

How many people can volunteer at one time?

I need to complete a specific number of community service hours.

Can I set up a regular schedule of volunteering?

I am a coach or aide and would like to sign up to volunteer with an individual with special needs or developmental disabilities.

My child has a severe allergy. What do I need to know before signing up to volunteer?

My confirmation email asked me to pre-register my group. Is this required?

What can I expect when I arrive at the Giving Factory?

What are the lunch options for volunteers?

How do I get to Cradles to Crayons? Where do I park?

What should I wear for my visit?

Do I need to sign up in advance, or can I just stop by to volunteer?

Due to high levels of interest in volunteering, you are required to register with our volunteer team ahead of time. Click here to volunteer individually, with a group, or with your family.

In all cases, we ask that you register at least two weeks in advance.

How old do I have to be to volunteer at the Cradles to Crayons Giving Factory?

For safety reasons, all children present during a volunteer shift must be at least 5 years old. Volunteers under 18 years old must have a chaperone and a signed waiver form with them when they volunteer.

I'm a middle/high school student. How can I get more involved?

You can join the Teen Leadership Corps,which gives young people in the Boston area an opportunity to make an important difference in their communities.

What are the adult to student ratio requirements to volunteer at the Cradles to Crayons Giving Factory?

1 adult per every 3 elementary schoolers, 1 adult per every 5 middle schoolers, 1 adult per every 8-10 high schoolers.

Do 18 year old HS students count as chaperones?

No. Only adult chaperones who are not in the high school program apply.

How many people can volunteer at one time?

Our warehouse is able to accommodate groups of 25 students plus chaperones, or up to 100 adults. For large group inquiries of 50 or more volunteers, please speak with a member of our staff directly.

I need to complete a specific number of community service hours.

Please mention this when you fill out our online registration form. A staff member will contact you and help you work out the details. Please keep in mind that although we may not have shifts open for you to complete all of your requirements, we will do our best to help you with what you need. Volunteers under 18 years of age must have a chaperone volunteering with them. 

Can I set up a regular schedule of volunteering?

Yes, our Giving Corps program may be perfect for you. Click here to learn more.

I am a coach or aide and would like to sign up to volunteer with an individual with special needs or developmental disabilities.

We would appreciate any information that you are able to give about the individual that you are coaching in order to ensure the best possible volunteer experience for them. Certain projects may be a better fit for you than others. Please email volunteerboston@cradlestocrayons.org

My child has a severe allergy. What do I need to know before signing up to volunteer?

Volunteers will be working with donations from around the state of Massachusetts, so we cannot guarantee that items have not come into contact with peanuts or other items. Please keep in mind that donations may have been in a basement or attic---it is common for volunteers to be in contact with dust or dirt.

My confirmation email asked me to pre-register my group. Is this required?

Yes, we do require that all groups pre-register at least one week in advance of their volunteer date. Some groups will receive a pre-registration link, while others will receive a spreadsheet.

What can I expect when I arrive at the Giving Factory?

When you arrive, please see a staff member inside to help you register or find your pre-printed nametag. Any staff member in purple can assist you at this time. If you are accompanied by volunteers under 18, please give your waiver form to a staff member upon arrival.

What are the lunch options for volunteers?

Volunteers are responsible for providing their own lunch. The facility has a water cooler and a small kitchenette with a refrigerator. Please let us know if you are planning on eating lunch in our space.

We have two preferred partners for meal delivery: Bertucci’s of Newton (617-244-4900) and Bakers’ Best Catering (617-332-4588).  Each of these organizations will generously donate 15% of your total bill to support our programs.

Can I bring my donations with me when I volunteer?

Yes, we strongly encourage volunteers to clean out their closets prior to their volunteer visit. Student and community groups are required to host a drive prior to their visits. When you arrive at the warehouse, bring donations through the front door or to our loading dock, where a member of our team will help you unload before you begin your volunteer shift. Please do not leave donations on the dock unattended.

How do I get to Cradles to Crayons? Where do I park?

Click here for information.

What should I wear for my visit?

Please wear closed-toe shoes and clothing that can get dirty. The warehouse can be warmer or cooler based on the weather outside, so we recommend bringing layers that you can remove during your shift.