Serving Families Collaboratively
Our extensive network of Service Partners is the crucial link between Cradles to Crayons and the children we serve. We are committed to doing everything possible to facilitate our collaboration and to assure that our Partners receive the items they order on a timely basis.
Using our new, mobile Partner Portal, our Service Partners place orders online, each order is based on the needs of a specific child in their care. These orders are processed in The Giving Factory and are then ready for pickup by our Partners who then deliver them directly to the families.
How We Serve our Partners
Specialty Items Program
Cradles to Crayons maintains a limited number of collaborative relationships to provide our “Specialty Items” throughout the year. Unlike individually tailored KidPacks that contain different types of items for one child, this program provides large quantities of items – such as a box of 20 copies of the same book or a 55-gallon bag of size 5/6 girls’ dresses – to assist a single partner.
Through our partner portal, Service Partners request KidPacks filled with Everyday Essentials, which are individually tailored for a specific child. These agencies in the KidPack Program also have access to Specialty Items and Backpacks. Most of our partnerships fall under this category.
Each August, Cradles to Crayons provides a high volume of backpacks to Service Partners and school districts. KidPack Program Service Partners are also eligible to request backpacks for the children and families they serve, but we do maintain once-a-year partnerships to help children get Ready for School on a much broader scale.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does Cradles to Crayons work?
Cradles to Crayons is a nonprofit that provides everyday essentials for children whose families are experiencing low-income and/or homelessness. Essential items, which we provide to them for free, include clothing, shoes, winter coats, books, toys, backpacks, school supplies, and more.
As opposed to working directly with families, Cradles to Crayons has built a highly efficient network of approved Service Partners. The everyday essentials we collect are distributed by our Service Partners to children and families who meet our income eligibility requirements.
My child can benefit from receiving essential items from Cradles to Crayons. How can I connect with your services?
Cradles to Crayons does not work directly with the families who receive our services. Instead, we work through a Network of Service Partners. To be eligible to access services from Cradles to Crayons, you have to be actively working with one of our Service Partner agencies.
If you are not already connected to one of our Service Partners, please review the services in your area. If you feel your family would benefit from the services they provide, please reach out directly to the program or organization of your choice. Should you become enrolled in the program, you will then be eligible to receive essential items from Cradles to Crayons.
Are the items you provide new?
Cradles to Crayons collects only new and “like new” children’s items to give to families who need them most. We believe that Quality = Dignity. So in partnership with our network of Service Partners, we provide only the highest quality items to the families we serve. These are items their children are both excited and proud to wear and use.
Who are some of your Service Partner agencies?
Cradles to Crayons works with a variety of Service Partner agencies — including schools, nonprofits, state agencies, and more — at each of our locations. These agencies provide services in education, housing, substance abuse, Head Start programs, community health, food access programs, and more. For a complete list, please see our Network of Service Partners page.
Who is eligible to receive services from Cradles to Crayons?
Eligibility is defined in two ways: 1) your family and/or child must be working with an active Cradles to Crayons Service Partner; and 2) income eligibility is required as defined by the Supplemental Poverty Measurement created by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2011. Your Service Partner representative will be able to tell you if your family/child meets income eligibility requirements for Cradles to Crayons services.
My program fits this description. How do I apply to become a partner?
If you are interested in learning more about Cradles to Crayons and exploring a potential partnership, please submit an online inquiry here.
What services does Cradles to Crayons provide?
Cradles to Crayons serves children with the essential items they need in three different forms: KidPacks, Specialty Items, and Backpacks.
Cradles to Crayons has an online ordering system through which our Service Partners place “KidPack orders” for the children they serve. Each KidPack is specifically tailored for an individual child and provides Everyday Essentials for that child to thrive at home, at school, and at play. KidPacks include any combination of the following items:
including clothing, socks, underwear
winter boots, rain boots, or sandals
winter coats, spring/fall coats, hats, gloves
SCHOOL AND DEVELOPMENT
HOME, HEALTH, AND SAFETY
content varies based on age of child
including top sheet, fitted sheet
|Diapers and wipes||Safety kits (plug covers and more)|
|Pack N’ Plays||Safety gates|
*Cradles to Crayons does not provide holiday assistance. We encourage you to reach out to established holiday assistance programs in October — i.e. Toys for Tots, Salvation Army, etc. — well in advance of their deadlines.
Specialty Items are another way that Cradles to Crayons serves children. Unlike KidPacks that are individually tailored and can contain a number of different types of items, these packages have large quantities of one particular type of item. For example, a box containing 20 copies of the same book, or a 55-gallon bag of size 5/6 girls’ dresses.
Cradles to Crayons provides school and art supplies year-round in KidPacks. In addition, we provide a high volume of backpacks once a year in August through our Service Partner agencies and school districts..
How quickly do families receive items after an online order has been placed?
The typical turnaround at Cradles to Crayons is approximately two weeks from the time orders are placed online. If we are running either behind or ahead in the fulfillment of orders, we will alert partners so they can provide updates to the families they are serving.
Is there a way to order items during an emergency situation?
Yes. Cradles to Crayons does provide items after an emergency situation or traumatic event. These Emergency Requests are still considered KidPack requests and must be placed by our Service Partners through our online ordering system. Service Partners must provide the reason for the expedited status of any KidPack. Once we receive an Emergency Request, we will fill the order within 72 hours.
Who can pick up a KidPack order and how?
Cradles to Crayons does not permit the families we serve to pick up items from any of our locations. We do this both to protect the privacy of families and to alleviate transportation hardships. Instead, our Service Partners are required to pick up KidPack orders at The Giving Factory, and then distribute them at their earliest convenience to the families they serve. Please contact your site Partner Relations representative for pickup days and times.
I am a registered Service Partner who needs a new password, and I’m unable to place orders. What should I do?
For account assistance, please contact your site representative for assistance.
I have some high quality children’s items I’d like to donate. Where can I drop off donations for Cradles to Crayons?
How do you begin volunteering with Cradles to Crayons?
For information about volunteering, please visit the Volunteering section of this website.