Volunteer In The Giving Factory

Update on COVID-19: we are collecting donations at select drop-off locations starting Monday, June 22. Please make sure to read our new COVID-19 donation guidelines and other precautionary measures we have implemented.

Thank you for your interest in volunteering at The Giving Factory.

Review our guidelines below to get started.

Fill out the adjacent form to inquire about a volunteer shift. 

A volunteer shift in The Giving Factory warehouse involves hands-on processing of the donated goods that flow in on a regular basis. Each station in our warehouse includes inspecting, sorting, and packaging donations to ultimately be distributed to the children we serve.

Getting Started

  1. Fill out the inquiry form on this page.
  2. In just 3-5 business days, you’ll receive an email from one of our volunteer coordinators with more details – including the day/time for a scheduled visit.

Preparing For Your Visit

Before you come to volunteer at The Giving Factory warehouse, we ask you to do two things:

  1. Host a Drive: We ask all of our volunteer groups to host a product collection prior to their visit to help us further our mission. There is no minimum requirement, but we ask each person to donate at least one children’s item. Learn more about hosting a successful drive here.
  2. Pre-Register Your Group: It is crucial that all volunteers coming to your shift pre-register by using the link in the confirmation email received by the group leader. By pre-registering, you provide the information that allow us to communicate helpful reminders prior to the visit and to send a thank you after your shift.

Note: Our volunteers – both adult and children – are the engine that powers Cradles to Crayons’ mission. Thank you for choosing to volunteer with us. You are joining thousands of people who have already made a significant impact in our community. We cannot wait to host you at the Giving Factory!

One of Cradles to Crayons’ organizational values is a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion. As such, we welcome many diverse individuals as volunteers. If you or someone in your group has special needs or accommodations, please contact volunteerchicago@cradlestocrayons.org before filling out this form.

When You Arrive

  • A Cradles to Crayons staff member will greet you in the lobby and lead you to the Forum area of our Giving Factory.
  • Your shift will start promptly at your scheduled time and will begin with a brief orientation.
  • The orientation includes a brief overview about Cradles to Crayons and important logistical information about The Giving Factory (bathrooms, water, etc.). You and other volunteers will then be escorted to your assigned stations.
  • At your station, your volunteer leader provides instructions about your task for the shift and will be present during the entire shift to answer questions or provide assistance. About 15 minutes prior to the end of your shift, you will return to the Forum for a brief wrap-up.

For more detailed information about what takes place during a shift, please see our FAQ’s.

Volunteer shifts are scheduled on Tuesdays through Fridays from 10:00 am–12:00 pm and 1:30 pm–3:30 pm.
We have weekend volunteer shifts from 10:00 am–12:00 pm and 1:30 pm–3:30 pm.

Most Needed Items

As a way to further engage your children in the volunteer experience, please bring at least one new or like-new children’s item to your shift. We encourage you to check our current “most needed items” list if you would like to help fill a gap in our inventory.

Learn More

Family Leadership Circle

We invite you to become part of a group of supporters who play a special role in sustaining Cradles to Crayons’ mission through annual support.

Learn More

[Chi] General Volunteering Inquiry Form

One of Cradles to Crayons' organizational values is a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion. As such, we welcome many diverse individuals as volunteers. If you or someone in your group has special needs or accommodations, please contact infochicago@cradlestocrayons.org 
before filling out this form

Select if you are coming with your family, by yourself, or with a group. This helps us make sure that the right person handles your request.

We use this information to help ensure we are always collecting the right information based on age. We do not share this information with anyone.