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Volunteer In Your Community

Don’t Just Spring Clean, Spring Green

Our Spring Greening initiative highlights C2C’s commitment to serving people and the planet

Challenge Environmental Injustice

Families living in poverty often: 

  • Live near environmental polluters, such as hazardous waste facilities or industrial manufacturers.
  • Live in communities that will experience catastrophic climate events, such as flooding or water shortages. 
  • Live at the precipice of climate emergencies without the resources to recover from the crisis. 

Even before the pandemic, 4 in 10 Americans could not weather a $400 crisis. Now, more than 90 million Americans cannot even afford their monthly household expenses — never mind preparing for the potential impacts of climate change. 

Volunteer at Home >

Make an Impact Together

The families Cradles to Crayons supports are most likely to be impacted by climate change, perpetuated by material waste, and the resulting environmental crisis.

Since 2016, we have received more than 80,000 bags of gently used children’s donations to serve more than 440,000 children living in low-income or homeless situations with high-quality items that would have otherwise become landfill waste!

Help us continue to serve Chicagoland kids with these valuable resources by celebrating Earth Week! Join us from April 19-24 as a volunteer—at home, at The Giving Factory, or by hosting a drive in your community. Email volunteerchicago@cradlestocrayons.org to get involved!


Ways To Give

Most-Needed Items

  • New and gently used t-shirts (sizes 2T – adult medium)
  • New and gently used long pants (sizes 2T – adult medium or 9)
  • New underwear (sizes 2T – adult medium)

Get Inspired >

Drop-Off Locations

Donate your new and gently used children’s items at one of our six drop-off locations across the city and suburbs in Logan Square, Buffalo Grove, Highwood, Naperville, South Side Chicago, and now—Downer’s Grove!

Find a Local Drop-Off >

Community Volunteer Days

Join volunteers of all ages as we come together to collect, sort, inspect and pack donations collected from your local community — at home, in The Giving Factory® in Logan Square or online!

Learn More > 

Items We Accept

Please ensure that your gently-used donations are high-quality; not ripped, stained, broken, or missing pieces. Please review the standards below to ensure we can distribute your donation to a deserving child.

See what items we need most >

Did you know?

  • The average American throws out about 82 pounds of textile waste per year That’s 11 million tons of waste produced every year by just the United States alone. While it may seem harmless to throw out old clothes, these fabrics are likely to then end up in landfills, where they pile up to produce toxic greenhouse gasses that are emitted into the atmosphere. As a leading cause of global warming, these gases are very dangerous for our environment and hazardous for our health. Donating your clothes is a great way to keep them out of landfills and provide kids in need with high-quality clothing. 


  • Shoes can take up to 1,000 years to break down. Commonly made with a material called ethylene-vinyl, the midsoles of shoes can take a really long time to break down. Rather than adding more waste to landfills, try donating your shoes instead!  


  • 95% of textiles can be recycled. Every year, we continue to throw away our old textiles, even though almost all of them can be recycled! This means that there is an alternative to landfill waste. In 2013, the US Environmental Protection Agency estimated that 2.3 million tons of textiles were recycled, thus avoiding disposal. They claimed the environmental impact of this number was the same as taking 1.2 million cars off the roadWhether you choose to donate your old things to local organizations or up-cycle them into something new for yourself, imagine the environmental difference we could make if everyone made the choice to recycle their clothes!