Drive Resources

How to Host a Drive

You can host a drive for two to four weeks in your community. Email us at communitychicago@cradlestocrayons.org to let us know about your drive.

  • Spread the Word: Share the details of your drive on social media, in a newsletter, and/or in a personal email to friends and family.
  • Begin Your Collection: Keep your community motivated with regular updates and encouragement.
  • Drop Off Your Donations: You can drop off your donations at our Giving Factory ® warehouse or at a dropoff location near you.
  • Celebrate and Appreciate: Don’t forget to thank your donors and share the impact of your drive with your community!

Resources & FAQ’s

What are your most needed items?
Our most needed items change by season. You can find a current list here. Consistent needs at Cradles include boys and girls clothing (youth sizes 0-7/8) and new hygiene items for infants and children (shampoo, soap, baby lotion, brushes/combs). 
How do I get a tax receipt?

You can now find our tax receipts on our website: https://www.cradlestocrayons.org/chicago/take-action/donate-goods/tax-receipt/

If you prefer to fill out a paper form, please print this out at home: https://cradlestocrayons.app.box.com/donation-receipt

Keep either the email or printed copy for your tax purposes.

Where do I bring my donations?

We have multiple drop-off locations throughout Chicagoland including our Giving Factory© in Logan Square. Find the one closest to you here. Take a look at the Items We Accept before donating!

Why can't you take my nursery furniture, large toy, etc..?

Cradles to Crayons is proud to create customized KidPacks that are hand-selected with care to meet a local boy or girl’s specific needs and wants. We accept donations of a wide range however, in the interest of the health and safety of the families we serve, and in consideration of the limited space they may have access to, we cannot accept large furniture or toy donations.

How do I set up a donation drive? How long should I collect for?

To set up a donation drive, place an inquiry with Cradles to Crayons and a staff member will follow up with you. Check out the Host a Drive Roadmap and our Donation Guidelines before you begin collecting. In general, we recommend collecting for between two and four weeks.

How much product do I need for xx volunteers to be busy for xx hours?

To keep 10 volunteers busy for 1 hour, your community will need to collect at least 30, 13-gallon (the size of a kitchen trash bag) bags of product. We suggest starting your collection 4 to 6 weeks before your sorting event to ensure there is enough product to keep your volunteers engaged throughout your event.

What happens to the donations you can't distribute?

Items that we cannot distribute are redistributed to various local partners to help serve their needs. 

Who are the children you serve and what communities do they live in?

Cradles to Crayons Chicago is dedicated to serving children living across Chicagoland and families who meet income eligibility requirements. By taking this approach, we ensure that your donations go to support local children and funnel resources directly to the children who need it the most.