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.


Cradles to Crayons is thrilled to be open and fully operational in Chicago to help support children in need. We are in need of volunteers looking to bring in necessary product as well as volunteer.

For more information or ways to get involved, contact a staff member.

Want to see the work we’re doing in other areas? Check out Massachusetts and Greater Philadephia!

Get Involved

Help us serve the nearly 200,000 children living in poverty in Chicago by making a donation of new or like-new children’s items, including clothes, books, shoes, toys, school & art supplies, baby gear, hygiene items, and more. Take a look at our Donation Guidelines for more information.

Make a monetary donation. A donation of $33 provides a weeks’ worth of clothing for a child.

Parking Lot Information
Although GPS directions typically take visitors past our entrance, please pull into our open gate entrance where you will see a Cradles to Crayons and Parking sign. From there you will see our lot of 33 parking spaces that are first come, first serve. You will then enter through the door marked Volunteer Entrance. Welcome to The Giving Factory!

Where will our donations be going?

In order to help Chicago children and families in the most effective way possible, Cradles to Crayons works directly with other organizations, which we call partner organizations. This means that Cradles to Crayons does not work directly with families. Our partner organizations will include: school districts, community health centers, homeless shelters, state agencies, early intervention programs, head start programs and more.

In order to be eligible to partner with Cradles to Crayons, these organizations must serve families who meet our income eligibility guidelines of experiencing low-income and/or homelessness as well as work with families who have children between the ages of birth through age 12. Our partner organizations place orders online for specific children based on a needs assessment as well as their age, size, and unique situation. Some of the items that Cradles to Crayons provides are: seasonally appropriate clothing, footwear, books, winter coats, hats and gloves, school & art supplies, baby items, and more.

The organizations we are excited to be working with are listed below. We are and will always be in the process of looking for more organizations to partner with. If you currently work for an organization that fits the criteria above, please contact Yaritza Sandoval, our Partner Relations Coordinator, at or (312)-561-6420.

Academy for Urban School Leadership

AUSL is a Chicago nonprofit school management organization that currently manages 32 Chicago Public Schools, and serves more than 18,000 students. AUSL prides themselves on improvements in academic achievement, student engagement and parent satisfaction for all schools they turnaround. We’re very excited to have AUSL as one of our nonprofit partners.

Association House

Association House provides wrap-around services for social, educational, and health programs. They serve a multi-cultural community by providing comprehensive, collaborative and effective programs in English and Spanish. The Association House also promotes health and wellness and creates opportunities for educational and economic advancement.

Austin Childcare Providers’ Network

Austin Provider’s Network (ACPN)’s mission is to educate and train childcare providers in underserved communities. ACPN’s goal is to continue to provide educational opportunities to childcare providers at offsite locations.

Boys and Girls Club – Logan Square

The Boys and Girls Club of Logan Square enables all young people, especially those who need them most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.

Casa Central

Casa Central transforms lives and strengthens communities, with a special focus on Hispanics. Their network of social services propels a diverse population of all ages toward self-sufficiency and a higher quality of life. Casa Central will be a leader in the Chicago Metropolitan area delivering culturally responsive, cross-generational, evidence-based services to vulnerable populations.


ChildServ’s mission is to build a better life for children at risk. They are an innovative, nimble leader in providing high-quality, effective services to support children, youth and communities in meeting the ever-changing challenges of society.

Communities in Schools

CIS has been a Chicago staple since 1987.  CIS works to close the gap between student’s needs and school’s resources.  They work to connect free social, emotional, health and enrichment programs to schools, and community organizations. In 2013-2014, they connected more than 1,500 programs to more than 73,000 students.

Family Focus

Family Focus helps Chicago-area families living in low-income communities give their children the best possible start in life. By offering customized classes, support groups and referral services in a welcoming and caring environment, Family Focus helps families help themselves while building a relationship based on equality and respect.

Heartland Alliance

Heartland Alliance—the leading anti-poverty organization in the Midwest— believes that all of us deserve the opportunity to improve our lives. Each year, they help ensure this opportunity for nearly one million people around the world who are homeless, living in poverty, or seeking safety through programs for housing, healthcare, jobs, and justice.

Horizons For Youth

Horizons For Youth enables students from low-resource neighborhoods to become the first in their families to graduate from college.

Illinois Action for the Children

Illinois Action for the Children ensures that every child in Illinois, particularly those in need, have access to the resources to succeed in school and in life. Illinois Action for the Children has worked to create systems of early care and education that help strengthen families and communities.

Infant Welfare Society

The Infant Welfare Society provides a continuum of integrated, quality, and preventive health care services to children and their families, enabling them to lead healthy and productive lives.

Juvenile Protective Association
The Juvenile Protective Association improves the social and emotional well-being and functioning of vulnerable children. They do this by providing individual and small group therapy in schools, social and emotional development to classrooms, support to parents and caregivers, and through consultation with educators and child welfare experts.
La Casa Norte

The mission of La Casa Norte is to serve youth and families confronting homelessness. They provide access to stable housing and deliver comprehensive services that act as a catalyst to transform lives and communities.

New Moms

The mission of New Moms is to surround young moms and their children with all they need to transform their lives and to be the model for an effective, efficient and enduring ministry that breaks the cycle of poverty among young moms and their children.

Northwest Side Housing Center

The Northwest Side Housing Center (NWSHC) is a HUD-Certified, community-based, nonprofit organization that engages, educates and empowers the community. They accomplish our mission through housing counseling, financial education, community organizing, outreach, advocacy and supportive services.

Northwestern University Settlement House
NUSH has comprehensive approach to supporting their neighbors, through immediate assistance for short-term emergencies, providing quality education for children, food pantry and family support, as well as many other community programs.
SGA Youth and Family Services

SGA Youth & Family Services supports the emotional and social development of Chicago area adolescents and young adults by providing therapy, prevention, case management and other supportive services for individuals and families.

Trina Davila Community Service Center

Working with community partners, the Trina Davila Community Service Center connects Chicago residents and families to resources that build stability, support their well-being, and empower them to thrive.

W.I.N.G.S Metro

The mission of WINGS Program, Inc. is to provide housing, integrated services, education and advocacy to end domestic violence. WINGS Program, Inc. will help create a society in which every domestic violence survivor has a voice and the resources to break the cycle of domestic violence.

Wood Family Foundation

The Wood Family Foundation facilitates relationships that provide support and opportunities to empower youth and their families to succeed in life.

Youth Guidance

Youth Guidance creates and implements school-based programs that enable at-risk children to overcome obstacles, focus on their education and, ultimately, to succeed in school and in life.