Volunteer Resources

What exactly will I be doing when I volunteer in the Giving Factory?
You’ll be volunteering in our warehouse, helping to quality-check, sort and package donations at our specific stations to ultimately be distributed to the children we serve.
What should I wear?
You should wear something comfortable, that you don’t mind getting dirty and close-toed shoes. You will be working in a warehouse that is not climate controlled, so please keep the weather in mind and dress accordingly.
What type of donations do you accept?
We accept all kinds of new and like-new children’s items. To learn more about the specific items we accept and our most needed items, please visit our Items We Accept page.
Is it okay if I bring a different number of volunteers than I originally planned?
For capacity reasons and logistical reasons, it is important that you bring the exact amount of volunteers that you originally planned. If you think your number may be different leading up to your shift, please contact the volunteer coordinator you’ve been communicating with as soon as possible so we can plan accordingly.
Why does my group need to pre-register?
It’s important for insurance and logistical purposes for us to have volunteer’s information prior to them arriving at The Giving Factory. We do not share any of our volunteer’s information with outside organizations. It is for internal use only.
Is The Giving Factory accessible via public transit?

Yes. Our Newton location is a short walk from various MBTA bus routes, as well as the Newtonville stop on the commuter rail. Find your directions here.

When do you offer volunteer shifts?

Volunteer shifts are available Wednesday through Saturday. Please see below for specific shift times:

Wednesday & Thursday
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Is there somewhere to store my belongings during the shift?
Yes, we have coat racks in our lobby you where you can hang your jacket. We also have a lockable bin inside that a staff member will point out during your orientation. We will lock the bin up during the shift and unlock it at wrap up.
I want to volunteer regularly. How do I do that?
If you’d like a leadership role and to help out regularly in the warehouse, you should consider applying to our Champion Program. Please contact volunteerboston@cradlestocrayons.org for more information.
What is the minimum age requirement?

All volunteers must be at least 5 years old to volunteer with us. Any child under the age of 18 needs an adult present with them for the entire shift when they come to volunteer with us.

What is the minimum/maximum number of volunteers that can attend a shift?

We can accommodate groups of various sizes. Please click here to fill out an inquiry today to get the conversation started.

Are there specific adult-to-child ratios?

Yes. Our ratios are as follows:

  • 1 adult per 3 elementary school students (Kindergarten through 5th Grade)
  • 1 adult per 5 middle school students (6th Grade through 8th Grade)
  • 1 adult per 8 high school students (9th Grade through 12th Grade)

*An 18-year-old high school student cannot be counted as a chaperone.

Please review our Student Group Expectations prior to visiting our Giving Factory.

My family would like to get more deeply involved. What can we do to help?
You can join our Family Leadership Circle, your child can apply to be in our Teen Leadership Corps or you can volunteer as a family.
Is your warehouse wheelchair accessible?
I'm running late for my shift, what should I do?

The shift will start promptly at the time you were scheduled. If you’re running late, please find your name tag on the table in the lobby and come on in to the warehouse. Go through the doors, and head to the purple bleachers. If everyone is already working in stations, anybody in a Cradles to Crayons shirt can help you find your station.

Do I need to sign up in advance, or can I just stop by to volunteer?
In order for our staff to plan our volunteer shifts appropriately, you are required to register with our volunteer coordinators in advance. Click here to fill out an inquiry form.