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.

“My new backpack made me feel special because now I have a backpack that’s just like the all other kids’ backpacks!”

Kathy, age 12

“Demetri wears his clothes from Cradles to Crayons most days of the week, and I’m not sure what he’d be wearing otherwise.”

Molly O’Connor

Gardner Pilot Academy

“For our family, volunteering is a chance to do something fun together, teach our children about the importance of service, and give back in a meaningful way to the community.”

Chang-Holt Family

Service Partner Stories

“My children are fortunate to be growing up in a family and in a community that has the means to provide for them. By engaging my friends and their families within my community, I hope to instill in all of our kids a desire to help others just because we can. And because it feels good to know that they’ve played a role in putting a smile on another child’s face.”

Allison Kates

“I was blown away with the efficiency and immediacy of the model, and with how much was actually being done to help kids right now.”

Suzanne Nissen

“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

“The Nobles community appreciates any opportunity to help out at Cradles to Crayons! The atmosphere is always upbeat. The work is always organized and presented in a manner that volunteers understand the task at hand. I LOVE the wrap-up! My students like to hear how many local young people are directly impacted by the work done on their shift.”

Linda Magee Hurley, Community Service Coordinator

“I have worked with Cradles to Crayons for years now as a volunteer and a Partner. The families I work with truly appreciate all the resources that they have received from Cradles to Crayons. Mothers have literally cried with appreciation and the kids light up when they see those bags full of clothing! It makes me feel like I really help my clients — and being part of the volunteer process makes it that much more meaningful. I don’t know what I would do without Cradles to Crayons — especially in true emergencies.”

Volunteer and Cradles to Crayons Service Partner

“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

Volunteer Stories

“From my experience working directly families in need, I see how much Cradles to Crayons impacts the lives of children. It’s so awesome to also volunteer in The Giving Factory to get basic items like clothing and shoes ready for delivery. Cradles to Crayons helps volunteers emotionally connect with the families they serve by finding a high-impact place to participate in the process.”

– Cradles to Crayons Champion Volunteer

“The Goldenberg Group believes in Cradles’ mission and model. We have watched the organization grow over the last 6+ years and know that their ‘lean and mean’ staff make the most of every dollar. We have heard testimonials from social workers who say they could not do their jobs as well if they didn’t have the services of the organizations. Philadelphia, while the 5th largest city in the nation, is also the poorest. We are committed to supporting organizations that give our City’s poorest the basic items they need to survive.”
 
Vanessa Loney, The Goldenberg Group’s People Helping People Foundation

“Yes, we still do collections of material goods, but now they are the natural result of a process that connects our students to an experience that allows them to be more empathetic, entrepreneurial, and creative. Cradles to Crayons gives our students a supportive platform to take what they have learned and design creative ways to address the problems they see. Through our partnership with Cradles to Crayons, our middle school students have become active and inspired leaders, as well as innovative and empathetic problem-solvers. They no longer wait to be told to donate, rather they search for opportunities to take the lead and initiate.”

Mr. Robert Buscaglia, Malvern Preparatory School

“My family and I love working with Cradles to Crayons because there is a visible connection to what we are doing; we gather donations at our house, bring them to the warehouse, and work to sort and prepare them for children in need. My children see that their outgrown clothes one day may be another child’s “new” clothes the next day.”

Sara Evans, Parent

“I have worked with Cradles to Crayons for years now as a volunteer and a Partner. The families I work with truly appreciate all the resources that they have received from Cradles to Crayons. Mothers have literally cried with appreciation and the kids light up when they see those bags full of clothing! It makes me feel like I really help my clients — and being part of the volunteer process makes it that much more meaningful. I don’t know what I would do without Cradles to Crayons — especially in true emergencies.”

Volunteer and Cradles to Crayons Service Partner

Looking for Sunshine?

Check out our sunshine stories and letters.