Everyday Essentials is the core program of Cradles to Cradles—operating on the simple philosophy of connecting communities that “have” with communities that “need.” Through community events and outreach, Cradles to Crayons collects donations of new or gently-used children’s items from organizations, schools, churches, retail suppliers, and individuals. Our many volunteers sort, quality-check, and package these items for pickup a few days later.
We identify children most in need by partnering directly with schools and leading social service agencies, comprising over 1,300 social workers, teachers, nurses and other human service providers statewide. These social service providers place online orders for the families in their care, and Cradles provides a complete, customized “KidPack” for each child within two weeks of the request. A typical KidPack contains a week’s worth of gender and size-specific clothes, seasonally-appropriate footwear, underwear, shoes and seasonal items like boots, coats, hats, and gloves, as well as school supplies and a selection of age appropriate books and toys. Each KidPack is customized to meet the unique needs of a child.
Explained a Headstart program partner: “The best thing is that it’s so individualized. It comes clean and looks beautiful. It’s exactly what that child needs.”