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 ages 0-12 who live in low-income situations in Massachusetts.
For a decade, Cradles to Crayons has distributed backpacks full of books and school supplies to children in need across the state, as they begin a new school year. The Backpack-a-thon, as it’s called, brings volunteers together from all walks of life to help fill backpacks for children who need them.
Cradles to Crayons founder and CEO, Lynn Margherio, welcomed volunteers to the annual event at city hall plaza, as they stuffed backpacks with school supplies.
“Over half of the thousand people here are regulars to Backpack-a-Thon,” said Margherio. “The backpacks are stuffed with rulers and calculators and books, and other essentials, so kids have what they need to walk into school, and feel a sense of belonging and preparedness.”
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh was among those helping out at the Backpack-a-thon. “The feedback is very positive because the kids get the backpack and feel they’re prepared for school, and they get excited about school,” Walsh said.
Boston School Superintendent Tommy Chang also attended the Backpack-a-thon, saying the help is greatly needed.
“Yes, we have a lot of students in Boston who may not have all the supplies they need to start school,” Chang said, “and because of organizations like Cradles to Crayons, every single child will have a backpack, and have the supplies they need.”
Bill from Boston was among the thousand volunteers stuffing backpacks for needy kids.
“You think about 35-thousand children that will be able to go to school with the pride of having a new backpack. It’s just terrific,” he said.
Kim from Swansea, NH, also helped out at the Backpack-a-thon. “This is my first time, and our whole family is here volunteering,” she said.
To learn more about Cradles to Crayons, or to make a donation, visit cradlestocrayons.org.