Frequently Asked Questions
At this time, masks are not required in our Giving Factory, but volunteers are more than welcome to wear one if they would like. Extra masks and gloves are available upon request. If you have a specific question about volunteering, please submit a request here and a member of our team will follow-up with you. Thank you.
Do I need to sign up in advance, or can I just stop by to volunteer?
Due to high levels of interest in volunteering, we are often booked well in advance. Please submit an inquiry to volunteer individually, with a group, or with your family. Our volunteer team will respond with available dates/times. You are not scheduled until you receive a confirmation email.
How old do I have to be to volunteer at the Cradles to Crayons Giving Factory?
For safety reasons, all children present during a volunteer shift must be at least 5 years old. Volunteers under 18 years old must have a chaperon and a signed waiver form with them when they volunteer. Students may not chaperon other students. If you would like to download and sign the waiver in advance, please click here.
I'm a middle/high school student. How can I get more involved?
You are welcome to volunteer with your family! An adult will need to submit a family volunteer inquiry for your group.
If you are looking for an opportunity to support Cradles to Crayons while developing leadership skills on an independent basis, or if you are working toward specific goals for NHS, scout badges, Mitzvah or Confirmation projects, or any other service requirement, we offer a structured program to assist with Independent Student Service Projects throughout the school year. Orientations for students and parents are held twice each month on Tuesday evenings at 5:30pm. Pre-registration is required. For more info, email Emily at firstname.lastname@example.org.
High school students can apply to join the Teen Leadership Corps (TLC). The TLC program year runs from June through the following April. Applications for the coming year are accepted from January through April.
What are the adult to student ratio requirements to volunteer at the Cradles to Crayons Giving Factory?
1 adult per every 3 students under the age of 18. Click here for Student Group Expectations and Guidelines..
Do 18 year old high school students count as chaperones?
Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian or other official adult group leader. Teenage friends may not accept responsibility/liability for other teens.
How many people can volunteer at one time?
Each volunteer shift has capacity for groups of up to 15 adults, or 12 students plus chaperones. For larger groups, requiring additional staffing and support, please provide details in your volunteer inquiry.
I need to complete a specific number of community service hours.
Please mention this when you fill out our online inquiry form. Due to the high demand for our volunteer shifts, we may not have shifts open for you to complete all of your requirements.
If you are working toward specific goals for NHS, scout badges, Mitzvah or Confirmation projects, or any other service requirement, we offer a structured program to assist with Independent Student Service Projects throughout the school year. Orientations for students and parents are held twice each month on Tuesday evenings at 5:30pm. Pre-registration is required. For more info, email Emily at email@example.com
Can I set up a regular schedule of volunteering?
Yes, our Giving Corps program may be perfect for you. Click here to learn more.
I am a coach or aide and would like to sign up to volunteer with an individual with special needs or developmental disabilities.
Please indicate this in your request. We would appreciate any information that you are able to give about the individual that you are coaching in order to ensure the best possible volunteer experience for them. Certain projects may be a better fit for you than others.
If I or someone in my group has a severe allergy, what do I need to know before signing up to volunteer?
Volunteers will be working with donations from the community, so we cannot guarantee that items you will handle have not come into contact with allergens. Please keep in mind that donations may have been stored in a basement or attic, or come from a home with pets. It is common for volunteers to be in contact with dust or dirt.
My confirmation email asked me to pre-register my group. Is this required?
Yes. It is crucial that all volunteers pre-register by using the link in the confirmation email. This information allows us to plan for your visit, communicate helpful information prior to the visit, including possible weather-related alerts, and send a thank you after your shift. It is critical that we have an accurate list of who is in our Giving Factory warehouse at all times.
What can I expect when I arrive at the Giving Factory?
- A Cradles to Crayons staff member in purple will greet you, help you check-in, and lead you to the first service activity.
Once all groups have arrived, volunteers will gather for 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.
- Your station leader will provide instructions about your task for the shift and will be present during the entire shift to answer questions or provide assistance.
- You may be involved in a wide range of projects, based on our specific needs on any given day. These may include sorting, cleaning, inspecting, or packaging donated goods for children, or another type of warehouse activity. Our production plans change daily.
- At the end of your shift, your group will hear a brief wrap-up while having a group photo taken.
What are the lunch options for volunteers?
Volunteers are responsible for bringing or ordering their own lunch. If you would like to order food for a large volunteer group, please coordinate with a C2C staff member upon confirmation of your visit. Outdoor picnic tables are available, but we advise volunteers to limit eating in the warehouse whenever possible to reduce the amount of clean-up needed after your visit.
It is recommended that volunteers bring a reusable water bottle to refill at our bottle-filling station, as water fountains will not be in use due to Covid-19.
Please click here for information on lunch options near our warehouse.
Can I bring my donations with me when I volunteer?
Yes, we strongly encourage volunteers to clean out their closets prior to their volunteer visit. Student and community groups are required to host a drive prior to their visits. When you arrive at the warehouse, please bring donations to the large red donation bins directly in front of our entrance.
What should I wear for my visit?
Please wear closed-toe shoes and clothing that can get dirty. The warehouse can be warmer or cooler based on the weather outside, so we recommend wearing layers.
Is there a place I can safely store my personal belongings while I volunteer?
To ensure the safety of your personal belongings, we suggest that you leave larger purses or bags at home. Keep any smaller items like wallets, keys, and phones safely in your pocket.
Any personal items which you will not wear during your shift should be placed on our yellow coat racks, or they may accidentally be mistaken as donated product.
Unfortunately, we can not guarantee refrigeration of lunches.
How do I get to Cradles to Crayons?
Please note that Cradles to Crayons moved in 2019 to: 4700 Wissahickon Ave Suite 142, Philadelphia, PA 19144.
Before heading to our warehouse, please review these DIRECTIONS to the new Giving Factory.
Where do I park?
We have a large parking lot directly in front of our entrance. You may park on either side of the fence in any spot not designated for another organization.