Our Mission and Model
It’s More Than a Cause, It’s a Kid
The Need is Urgent, Yet Often Overlooked
Childhood poverty is a serious nationwide issue. The average U.S. family in poverty, with two adults and two children, lives on less than $24,000 a year. Consider these staggering statistics from the regions where Cradles to Crayons currently operates:
- More than 305,000 Massachusetts children, 12 years old and younger, live in low-income or poverty-stricken households. In any given year, more than 100,000 of them will experience homelessness.
- According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Philadelphia has the highest poverty rate among the nation’s ten largest cities. Nearly one in four Philadelphians, including 130,000 children, live in poverty.
- Approximately 200,000 children in Chicago live in poverty – that’s one in three children.
What Poverty Looks and Feels Like for Kids
The kids we help don’t have shoes that fit. Or a coat warm enough to fend off winter winds. Or a backpack to carry their schoolbooks and supplies. Without these basics, they suffer. They don’t want to go to school. They have a hard time learning in school. They don’t go outside to play. They don’t feel valued.
Our Mission: Cradles to Crayons provides children from birth through age 12, living in homeless or low-income situations, with the essential items they need to thrive – at home, at school and at play. We supply these items free of charge by engaging and connecting communities.
The Model That Brings Our Mission to Life
Our efficient and effective three-step model provides kids with the essentials they need, free of charge. This enables us to engage communities that have, connecting them with communities that need.
- New and nearly new children’s items are collected through grassroots community drives and corporate donations.
- Donations are then processed and packaged by volunteers in our warehouse, The Giving Factory®.
- Packages from The Giving Factory are distributed to local disadvantaged children — through our collaborative network of diverse service partners.
Whether you volunteer at one of our Giving Factories or in a community in your region, or participate in other ways, you will become part of the spirit and energy that enables us to serve so many.