Our Culture

Viewing Basic Necessities as a Birthright for All

A community within a community, Cradles to Crayons is built on the belief that everyone deserves the everyday essentials they need to thrive and survive. We’re fully committed to making that belief a reality for our most vulnerable children. In partnership with our communities, this culture is molded by our shared vision: a world where all kids can access what they need to reach their potential.

We understand that a backpack is more than a schoolbag. It’s an incubator for the future, filled with possibility and support for the child who wears it. We’ve also seen firsthand how small things like school supplies and clean clothing — donated through the kindness of others — can make a big difference in the life of a child.

At its heart, Cradles to Crayons is the product of countless small acts of kindness that, together, make a big difference. Our “kids come first” values and culture have enabled us to energize a diverse and inclusive community of more than 75,000 volunteers while supporting more than one million children to date. Our daily work continues to be inspired by the unity and power of our collaborative mindset — as we continue to expand our legacy of service to those who need us most.

Learn more about career opportunities at Cradles to Crayons. 

Take Action

Whether you volunteer at our Giving Factory or in your community, or participate in other ways, you will become part of the spirit and energy that enables us to serve so many.

Ways to Give

Our Values

Kids come first

  • We make all decisions with the children we serve as the highest priority.
  • We leverage our collective effort, impact the lives of those we serve, and raise awareness about childhood poverty and those in need.
  • We foster empathy for the communities we serve through engagement with our mission, model, and partners.
  • We believe that Quality = Dignity.

We are one and We are stronger together

  • We respect the value and contributions that each team member makes.
  • We foster relationship building and knowledge-sharing across the organization.
  • We work together with authenticity, respect, and trust.
  • We use our collective wisdom and shared empathy to hold each other accountable in our work and actions.
  • We are a community and not merely a collection of individuals.

We lead the way

  • We lead by example and expect others to do the same.
  • As leaders, we serve as models for open and receptive communication.
  • Our leaders are present, responsive, and proactive.
  • We create individual growth plans and craft development opportunities so every team member can achieve their dreams.
  • We believe in work plus life, not work versus life.

Diversity is our strength, inclusivity our bond 

  • We view diversity as a necessity and actively create an inclusive and participatory environment that respects diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives.
  • We are a model for how an inclusive environment looks and acts, and continually assess our policies, procedures, and practices to ensure we are creating an inclusive space for all.
  • We actively and thoughtfully engage with our organizational partners in the communities they serve.

Service is our legacy

  • We create remarkable experiences that empower our stakeholders to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others.
  • We transform the time, energy, and compassion of individuals into collective action to create positive change in the communities we engage and serve.
  • We believe in the power of service and promote that ethic for all current and future philanthropic and community leaders.

We speak the truth and face the facts

  • We communicate clearly, directly, and constructively.
  • We listen to each other and are present in our conversations.
  • We make decisions in a collaborative, transparent, and consistent manner.
  • We value and provide constructive and authentic feedback to each other.


We leverage collective genius

  • We strive for excellence, reflecting on our successes and learning from our mistakes.
  • We actively communicate achievements, failures, lessons learned, and best practices across the organization.
  • We view execution as a dynamic process and incorporate new information into our work on an ongoing basis.
  • We reflect on opportunities for growth and make choices today with tomorrow in mind.