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 that have with communities that need.


Cradles to Crayons is thrilled to be open and fully operational in Chicago to help support children in need. We are in need of volunteers looking to bring in necessary product as well as volunteer.

For more information or ways to get involved, contact a staff member.

Want to see the work we’re doing in other areas? Check out Massachusetts and Greater Philadephia!

Get Involved

Help us serve the nearly 200,000 children living in poverty in Chicago by making a donation of new or like-new children’s items, including clothes, books, shoes, toys, school & art supplies, baby gear, hygiene items, and more. Take a look at our Donation Guidelines for more information.

Make a monetary donation. A donation of $33 provides a weeks’ worth of clothing for a child.

Parking Lot Information
Although GPS directions typically take visitors past our entrance, please pull into our open gate entrance where you will see a Cradles to Crayons and Parking sign. From there you will see our lot of 33 parking spaces that are first come, first serve. You will then enter through the door marked Volunteer Entrance. Welcome to The Giving Factory!

Where will our donations be going?

In order to help Chicago children and families in the most effective way possible, Cradles to Crayons works directly with other organizations, which we call partner organizations. This means that Cradles to Crayons does not work directly with families. Our partner organizations will include: school districts, community health centers, homeless shelters, state agencies, early intervention programs, head start programs and more.

In order to be eligible to partner with Cradles to Crayons, these organizations must serve families who meet our income eligibility guidelines of experiencing low-income and/or homelessness as well as work with families who have children between the ages of birth through age 12. Our partner organizations place orders online for specific children based on a needs assessment as well as their age, size, and unique situation. Some of the items that Cradles to Crayons provides are: seasonally appropriate clothing, footwear, books, winter coats, hats and gloves, school & art supplies, baby items, and more.

The organizations we are excited to be working with are listed below. We are and will always be in the process of looking for more organizations to partner with. If you currently work for an organization that fits the criteria above, please contact Yaritza Sandoval, our Partner Relations Coordinator, at or (312)-561-6420.

Northwestern University Settlement House
NUSH has comprehensive approach to supporting their neighbors, through immediate assistance for short-term emergencies, providing quality education for children, food pantry and family support, as well as many other community programs.
Communities in Schools

CIS has been a Chicago staple since 1987.  CIS works to close the gap between student’s needs and school’s resources.  They work to connect free social, emotional, health and enrichment programs to schools, and community organizations. In 2013-2014, they connected more than 1,500 programs to more than 73,000 students.

Academy for Urban School Leadership

AUSL is a Chicago nonprofit school management organization that currently manages 32 Chicago Public Schools, and serves more than 18,000 students. AUSL prides themselves on improvements in academic achievement, student engagement and parent satisfaction for all schools they turnaround. We’re very excited to have AUSL as one of our nonprofit partners.

Heartland Alliance

Heartland Alliance—the leading anti-poverty organization in the Midwest— believes that all of us deserve the opportunity to improve our lives. Each year, they help ensure this opportunity for nearly one million people around the world who are homeless, living in poverty, or seeking safety through programs for housing, healthcare, jobs, and justice.

Casa Central

Casa Central transforms lives and strengthens communities, with a special focus on Hispanics. Our network of social services propels a diverse population of all ages toward self-sufficiency and a higher quality of life. Casa Central will be a leader in the Chicago Metropolitan area delivering culturally responsive, cross-generational, evidence-based services to vulnerable populations.

W.I.N.G.S Metro

The mission of WINGS Program, Inc. is to provide housing, integrated services, education and advocacy to end domestic violence. WINGS Program, Inc. will help create a society in which every domestic violence survivor has a voice and the resources to break the cycle of domestic violence.