Our History

How Our Mission Was Born

The Cradles to Crayons story began in a bedroom drawer. While founder Lynn Margherio was helping her young niece get dressed, she noticed many pieces of clothing were outgrown. Others were never worn, with price tags still on them.

Lynn thought: “What if these like-new and never-used things could find their way to children who really need them?”

Less than two years later in 2002, Lynn launched Cradles to Crayons in Boston. Since our inception, we’ve grown in Massachusetts and beyond: Philadelphia in 2006, Chicago in 2016, and two more sites in the planning stages.

Through it all, our mission remains clear: to provide children from birth through age 12 with the everyday essentials they need to thrive — at home, at school, and at play. Our overarching vision — a future free of childhood poverty — inspires our work every day.

By making it convenient to turn compassion into action, our model enables us to connect those in our communities who have with those who are in need. We achieve this by offering meaningful volunteer experiences for people of all ages and backgrounds who want to engage in our work, and by communicating clearly about the impact of their support.

Take Action

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

Ways To Give