Our Stories

Heartfelt Stories From Partners, Families, and Volunteers

On a human level, what we do is bring some comfort and sunshine into the life of a child in need. Learn firsthand about the difference we make on a day-to-day basis from our Service Partners, volunteers, and from the families.
* Names have been changed to protect privacy.

“My new backpack made me feel special because now I have a backpack that’s just like the all other kids’ backpacks!”

Kathy, age 12

“Demetri wears his clothes from Cradles to Crayons most days of the week, and I’m not sure what he’d be wearing otherwise.”

Molly O’Connor

Gardner Pilot Academy

“For our family, volunteering is a chance to do something fun together, teach our children about the importance of service, and give back in a meaningful way to the community.”

Chang-Holt Family

Service Partner Stories

“No one would believe how special a backpack would be to a child. When our children receive backpacks, they all become excited. To some, it means ‘I am a big boy or girl going to school for the first time.’ To others, it signifies the beginning of a new school year. The backpacks we receive are also a blessing to our parents who often struggle to provide the back-to-school items their child needs. We appreciate the work that you do Cradles to Crayons — thank you so much!”

– Cradles to Crayons Service Partner

“I was blown away with the efficiency and immediacy of the model, and with how much was actually being done to help kids right now.”

Suzanne Nissen, Needham, MA

“I couldn’t afford to pay my rent and also buy diapers, clothes, and toys 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, toys, 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

“I have worked with Cradles to Crayons for years now as a volunteer and a Partner. The families I work with truly appreciate all the resources that they have received from Cradles to Crayons. Mothers have literally cried with appreciation and the kids light up when they see those bags full of clothing! It makes me feel like I really help my clients — and being part of the volunteer process makes it that much more meaningful. I don’t know what I would do without Cradles to Crayons — especially in true emergencies.”

Volunteer and Cradles to Crayons Service Partner

Volunteer Stories

“The Nobles community appreciates any opportunity to help out at Cradles to Crayons! The atmosphere is always upbeat. The work is always organized and presented in a manner that volunteers understand the task at hand. I LOVE the wrap-up! My students like to hear how many local young people are directly impacted by the work done on their shift.”

Linda Magee Hurley, Community Service Coordinator, Noble and Greenough School, Dedham, MA

“From my experience working directly families in need, I see how much Cradles to Crayons impacts the lives of children. It’s so awesome to also volunteer in The Giving Factory to get basic items like clothing and shoes ready for delivery. Cradles to Crayons helps volunteers emotionally connect with the families they serve by finding a high-impact place to participate in the process.”

– Cradles to Crayons Champion Volunteer

“Triangle, Inc. is a non-profit organization that provides the support, challenge, and opportunity that people with disabilities need to live more independent lives. We are grateful for our ongoing relationship with Cradles to Crayons and its staff, who have established an engaging, mission focused environment that inspires growth and community engagement.

When we volunteer at Cradles to Crayons, not only do our individuals have the opportunity to strengthen skills that will help them reach their future employment goals, but they leave feeling proud of the contributions they make toward helping Boston youth be successful. We’re always looking forward to our next visit!”

Dana Belanger, Triangle, Inc., Malden, MA

“My children are fortunate to be growing up in a family and in a community that has the means to provide for them. By engaging my friends and their families within my community, I hope to instill in all of our kids a desire to help others just because we can. And because it feels good to know that they’ve played a role in putting a smile on another child’s face.”

Allison Kates, Wayland, MA

“Cradles to Crayons is a perfect fit for us. It allows my team to give back to the community within a safe and structured environment and for a cause we all believe in. It always amazes us how well Cradles to Crayons is organized. The staff are so nice to us, they give us great instructions, and their enthusiasm is contagious!

I would recommend Cradles to Crayons to any Team Leader or organization looking to volunteer in the community. You get the amazing opportunity to help children in need.
What greater calling is there?”

Dennis S. Urlaub, AWACS Charity Team (ACT), Hanscom Air Force Base, MA

Looking for Sunshine?

Check out our sunshine stories and letters.