Our Impact

We’re Making a Difference in Children’s Lives

In the United States, 2 in 5 children live at or below 200% of the federal poverty, a level that ranges from deep poverty (50%) to low-income (200%). These families struggle to pay for rent and groceries and often can’t afford anything else. Basic items for their children—clothes that fit, shoes, a coat for cold weather—are simply not possible. Cradles to Crayons works to fill this critical yet overlooked need. Watch our video to listen to Cibele, a single mother whose life changed after receiving our services for her daughter.

Take a look at some of the other lives we’ve touched—in the words of Service Partners and families>

Our Model

Our efficient and effective model focuses on three fundamental principles:

  • Make it easy to donate: People and organizations will respond to our request if it’s easy to donate
  • Provide a meaningful volunteer experience: Volunteers enjoy music, teamwork, even friendly competition while preparing packages that change the daily lives of children who receive them
  • Collaborate: We partner with 470+ schools and social service agencies who identify families in need and distribute our packages directly to them

Learn more about our model>

Cradles to Crayons by the numbers


We Empower


*Since 2002


We Partner With



We’ve Served


*Since 2002

Why It Matters

Without affordable, adequate, and appropriate clothing, children face unfair barriers and participate in life on an unequal playing field. Lack of proper clothing is one of the top 10 reasons kids miss school. They are also more likely to miss medical appointments and social outings, creating significant short and long-term social and economic deficits. Across most of the United States, only three (food, housing, energy) of the four basic needs are supported by government safety net programs. Cradles to Crayons assists families through annual initiatives that focus support and attention on specific, seasonally appropriate children’s needs. More than 80% of Cradles to Crayons Service Partners report that they would not be able to provide clothing to their clients without C2C’s services.

Learn more about our annual initiatives>

Our Service Partners

Our extensive network of Service Partners are the critical connection to the families and children who receive the goods we distribute. We are committed to helping our Service Partners obtain the items their clients need while integrating with their day-to-day operations. We serve our partners through three programs—KidPacks, Backpacks, and Specialty Items. KidPacks (our signature, year-round distribution program) provide everyday essentials, which are individually tailored for a specific child. Backpacks, packed with age-appropriate supplies and distributed before the school year starts, allow for high-volume support for partners and school districts. Our Specialty Item Program provides things that fall outside of our typical distribution—bulk books in a specific language, sports equipment, Halloween costumes, etc.

Learn more about how we work with our Service Partners>

Our Volunteers

Cradles to Crayons began with the vision of one individual who was determined to make a difference in the world. Today, we mobilize thousands of volunteers who are working together to help change the lives of the children we serve. Volunteers in The Giving Factory make lasting memories through a two-hour hands-on shift where they inspect, sort, and package KidPacks to get them ready for distribution. We believe it’s important for everyone to flex their empathy muscle so our volunteer opportunities are for anyone who wants to give back—families, including children as young as 5, corporate and community groups, teen programs, and more. We are all truly in it together!

Learn more about our different volunteer opportunities>

Take Action

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