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.

“Dear Friends, I like the stuff you gave us. The stuff really helped me. Thank you so much!”

Emily, Kid Pack Recipient

“Picked up packs today, Thank you so much, When I gave the kids their packs their smile’s were ear to ear. They were so excited and happy with their KidPacks. Thank you for the blessing.”

Marisol Rivera

Morton School of Excellence (AUSL partner school)

“Cradles to Crayons provides a great and easy volunteer experience! They made the volunteer shift fly by with the friendly staff, good music and nice warehouse. It was very well organized and fun. Most of all, knowing I was helping underprivileged kids made the experience incredibly rewarding!”

Sinder Family

Volunteer and Service Partner Stories

“The Webb family were victims of a fire late Thursday evening. I transported the family to their temporary shelter with the Kidpacks yesterday and when they got out of the car I was given the biggest hug ever from the family. I went to Ivory’s school yesterday and saw him with his new coat and backpack and he was actually smiling and skipping, which was a huge difference from the sad face he had the day before. Thank you and Cradles to Crayons you are truly making a difference!!!”

Zenobia Williams, Program Coordinator for SGA Youth and Family Services

“Hi There! Thanks so much for your generosity. So,…here is a bit of SUNSHINE: You made my day! I don’t’ have any money and didn’t know how I was going to get diapers for the baby. Thank you so much.”

G.R., Served by Infant Welfare Society

“I recently had the opportunity to work with migrants that left Central America’s Northern Triangle nations of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala seeking a better life in the United States — not knowing how difficult their travel would be as they walked through the desert for days, with little or no money and had to leave their family behind. 

Two sisters that arrived with their children almost died crossing the border. The family came to Access Community Health Center, their 18-month-year-old was malnourished, had two degree burns on her face, and her mother was traumatized. They were without clothes and proper baby bedding.

They were with little hope and didn’t know how they would get past their hardship. 

In addition to our assistance, Cradles to Crayons Chicago provided us with clothes, books, shoes, backpacks filled with school supplies for school, baby formula, baby wipes, diapers, strollers, a play pen, car seats, hygiene packs and toys. They were renewed with much-deserved joy, hope and a sense of security. 

Your program truly makes a difference in everyone it serves—from the person requesting the donation to the person receiving the donation.” 

Thank you, 

Rocio Rodriguez, ACCESS Health Network

“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 can’t tell you how happy these coats are making kids. It’s so heart warming. Some of the kids include a family that has 14 kids living in a tiny space with little to no money. Other kids are children of Syrian refugees, whose father was in a car accident recently and unable to work. Other ones are kids that recently moved as immigrants from Mongolia. All of them were coming to school with no coat or very thin jackets. These donations have made a world of difference to their lives! THANK YOU SO MUCH to you and the whole team for making it happen!”

Communities in Schools

“I first visited Cradles to Crayons as a parent chaperone for my son’s class trip. I quickly knew this was a very special place where I wanted to spend more time. Everyone here is so positive from the staff members to the other volunteers. It’s a very easy place to donate your time. Even though it is a lot of fun. It is nice to know I’m helping others at the same time.” – Dawn, Cradles to Crayons Champion Volunteer

“A really beautiful moment happened yesterday as we were going through kid packs. A teacher saw us going through kid packs and came over to ask if we had any extras for a boy in her class. She said that he had been wearing a weathered woman’s coat and was in great need of clothing. The teacher told us that he is embarrassed in class with the clothes he wears and often puts his coat in his backpack so no one sees it. We connected her with C2C and she was able to order the student a kid pack. When the child went to school after receiving his new winter gear, he had the widest smile on his face. He put on his coat, hat and gloves and just could not stop smiling. It was really something to see. It was so clear that the clothing was going to make a huge difference in his life. After receiving a C2C clothing pack and coat, he was able to immediately wear his new coat with total pride and openness! Thanks so much for all you do.”

Sofia Casas, Student Supports Manager for Communities in Schools

“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

Looking for Sunshine?

Check out our sunshine stories and letters.