WBZ Cares: Cradles to Crayons Helps Needy Children Thrive

BOSTON (CBS) – The WBZ Cares Campaign continues for the month of September.

Each month, WBZ Newsradio 1030 highlights a worthy non-profit organization and tells the story of what it does for the community.

For the month of September, WBZ profiles “Cradles to Crayons,” a Boston-based organization which provides children from birth through age 12 with essential items–clothes shoes, school supplies and toys–which they need to thrive at home, at school, and at play. There are more than 300,000 children aged 0-12 who live in low-income situations in Massachusetts.

Founder and CEO Lynn Margherio got the idea for Cradles to Crayons while visiting relatives in Michigan.

“I was helping my niece get dressed at my sister’s home, when I noticed there was clothing that still had tags on them, and were two sizes too small,” said Margherio. “I went to my nephew’s house, and saw he had toys and puzzles and games that had never been opened”

From that experience, the mission of Cradles to Crayons was created.

“We are all about finding new homes for those beautiful clothes and books and toys, that your child never wore or maybe gently used,” Margherio said. “We find another home where those things will make a large difference in the life of another child and family.”

The heart of Cradles to Crayons headquarters in Brighton is the “Giving Factory,” which features 35,000 square feet of donated clothes, shoes and toys, sorted by volunteers and shipped to children in need in Massachusetts.

Cradles to Crayons Senior Manager of Marketing and Communications Kirsten Sims says their motto is “quality equals dignity,” and while only new or gently used items are accepted, nothing goes to waste.

“If you bring something here, and it doesn’t meet our quality standards, it goes somewhere else, and is used in another way,” said Sims. “So 100 percent of what comes through here ends up being used.”

Beverly Sullivan is among those who volunteer every week at the “Giving Factory”–she’s known as a “Champion Corps Volunteer,” who helps guide others in the facility.

“The people are so sincere, and caring,” Sullivan says. “It just makes you feel good.”

If you’d like to learn more about Cradles to Crayons, or wish to make a donation, go to their website at cradlestocrayons.org.

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