Service Partner Resources

At Cradles to Crayons, Service Partners are our connection to the families and children who receive the goods we distribute. We do everything we can to help you obtain the items your clients need and to ease your day-to-day operations.

As a Service Partner, you place Cradles to Crayons orders online, based on your needs assessments for individual families and children. After picking them up at The Giving Factory warehouse, how you distribute goods to the families and children themselves is up to you — whether it’s pickup or delivery.

A Commitment to Supporting All That You Do

At Cradles to Crayons, our model thrives on the strength of our Service Partners and the exceptional interdependence between us. The resources we connect you to as result are nothing short of amazing. These resources include:

Summit on Poverty

Hear from experts on the issue of poverty and share challenges and solutions with other mission-driven nonprofit professionals.

This workshop-based summit offers engaging professional development opportunities, a variety of session topics for different experience levels, and more than 30 exhibitors showcasing local services and products to help you better serve families in need. In addition, professionals in attendance receive three CEU credits for the summit (pending full-day attendance).

Phyllis Yale Award

The Phyllis Yale Award provides one Cradles to Crayons Service Partner with $10,000 in funding towards education or organizational structure.

Because our delivery model is based on a network of high-performing partner organizations, Cradles to Crayons is pleased to offer this selective award to a Service Partner who best represents the ideal for IMPACT: Innovative, Measured, Partner-oriented and Collaborative, Accountable, Committed, and Transformative.

The Annie Casey Foundation

The Annie E. Casey Foundation is devoted to developing a brighter future for millions of children at risk of poor educational, economic, social and health outcomes. Its work focuses on three factors all children need to succeed: strengthening families, building stronger communities and ensuring access to opportunity. We advance research and solutions to overcome the barriers to success, help communities demonstrate what works and influence decision makers to invest in strategies based on solid evidence.

National Center for Children in Poverty

Addressing the Challenge: The National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP) is one of the nation’s leading public policy centers dedicated to promoting the economic security, health, and well-being of America’s low-income families and children. NCCP uses research to inform policy and practice with the goal of ensuring positive outcomes for the next generation. We promote family-oriented solutions at the state and national levels.

NCCP’s vision:

      • Family economic security
      • Strong, nurturing families
      • Healthy child development

Frequently Asked Questions

How does Cradles to Crayons work?

Cradles to Crayons is a nonprofit that provides everyday essentials for children whose families are experiencing low-income and/or homelessness. Essential items, which we provide to them for free, include clothing, shoes, winter coats, books, toys, backpacks, school supplies, and more.

As opposed to working directly with families, Cradles to Crayons has built a highly efficient Network of approved Service Partners. The everyday essentials we collect are distributed by our Network of Service Partners to children and families in need who meet our income eligibility requirements.

My child can benefit from receiving essential items from Cradles to Crayons. How can I connect with your services?

Cradles to Crayons does not work directly with the families who receive our services. Instead, we work through a Network of Service Partners. To be eligible to access services from Cradles to Crayons, you have to be actively working with one of our Service Partner agencies.

If you are not already connected to one of our Service Partners, please review the services in your area. If you feel your family would benefit from the services they provide, please reach out directly to the program or organization of your choice. Should you become enrolled in the program, you will then be eligible to receive essential items from Cradles to Crayons.

Are the items you provide new?

Cradles to Crayons collects both new and “like new” children’s items to give to families who need them most. We believe that Quality = Dignity. We provide only the highest quality items to the families we serve. These are items all children would be both excited and proud to wear and use.

Who are some of your Service Partner organizations?

Cradles to Crayons works with a variety of Service Partner organizations — including schools, nonprofits, government agencies, and more — at each of our locations. These agencies provide services in education, housing, substance abuse, Head Start programs, community health, food access programs, and more. For a complete list, please see our Network of Service Partners page.

Who is eligible to receive services from Cradles to Crayons?

Eligibility is defined in two ways:

  1. Your family and/or child must be working with an active Cradles to Crayons Service Partner
  2. Income eligibility is required as defined by being within 200% of the Federal Poverty Line (FPL).

Your Service Partner representative will be able to help you understand if your family/child meets income eligibility requirements for Cradles to Crayons services.

I work for an organization. How do I apply to join your Network of Service Partners?

If you are interested in learning more about Cradles to Crayons and exploring a potential partnership, please submit an online inqiury here.

What services does Cradles to Crayons provide?

Cradles to Crayons serves children with the essential items they need in three different forms: KidPacks, Specialty Items, and Backpacks.

KidPacks

Cradles to Crayons has an online ordering system through which our Service Partners place "KidPack orders" for the children they serve. Each KidPack is specifically tailored for an individual child and provides Everyday Essentials for that child to thrive at home, at school, and at play. KidPacks include any combination of the following items:

SEASONALLY APPROPRIATE

Outfit Packs
including clothing, socks, underwear
Seasonal Footwear
winter boots, rain boots, or sandals
Outerwear
winter coats, spring/fall coats, hats, gloves
Everyday Footwear
sneakers, flats

 

SCHOOL AND DEVELOPMENT

Books School Supplies
Art supplies Toys*

 

HOME, HEALTH, AND SAFETY

Hygiene kits
content varies based on age of child
Bedding packs
including top sheet, fitted sheet
Diapers and wipes Safety kits (plug covers and more)
Strollers Car seats
Pack N’ Plays Safety gates

*Cradles to Crayons does not provide holiday assistance. We encourage you to reach out to established holiday assistance programs in October — i.e. Toys for Tots, Salvation Army, etc. — well in advance of their deadlines.

Specialty Items

Specialty Items are another way that Cradles to Crayons serves children. Unlike KidPacks that are individually tailored and can contain a number of different types of items, these packages have large quantities of one particular type of item. For example, a box containing 20 copies of the same book, or a 55-gallon bag of size 5/6 girls’ dresses.

Backpacks

Cradles to Crayons provides school and art supplies year-round in KidPacks. In addition, we provide a high volume of backpacks once a year in August through our Service Partner agencies and Massachusetts school districts.

How quickly do families receive items after an online order has been placed?

The typical turnaround at Cradles to Crayons is approximately 2 weeks from the time orders are placed online. If we are running either behind or ahead in the fulfillment of orders, we will alert partners so they can provide updates to the families they are serving.

Is there a way to order items during an emergency situation?

Yes. Cradles to Crayons does provide items after an emergency situation or traumatic event. These Emergency Requests are still considered KidPack requests and must be placed by our Service Partners through our online ordering system. Service Partners must provide the reason for the expedited status of any KidPack. Once we receive an Emergency Request, we will fill the order within 72 hours.

Who can pick up a KidPack order and how?

Cradles to Crayons does not permit the families we serve to pick up items from any of our locations. We do this both to protect the privacy of families and to alleviate transportation hardships. Instead, our Service Partners are required to pick up KidPack orders at The Giving Factory, and then distribute them at their earliest convenience to the families they serve. The Giving Factory pickup hours are 9:00 am to 2:00 pm, Tuesday through Friday.

I am a registered Service Partner who needs a new password, and I’m unable to place orders. What should I do?

For account assistance, please contact partnersboston@cradlestocrayons.org.

I have some high quality children’s items I’d like to donate. Where can I drop off donations for Cradles to Crayons?

Thank you! We would love to give your high quality essential items to children who can really use them. Follow this link for more information about Dropoff Locations and Donation Guidelines.

How do I begin volunteering with Cradles to Crayons?

For information about volunteering, please visit the Volunteering section of this website.