Getting Local Kids Ready to Learn from Head to Toe.

To succeed in school, children must be emotionally, mentally, and physically prepared. This year, thousands of Southeastern Pennsylvania families will worry about not having resources to provide school supplies and clothing for their children while struggling to pay for food and rent. Through our Ready for School program, Cradles to Crayons helps to alleviate the effects of poverty on school readiness from head to toe—by distributing backpacks filled with new, age-appropriate school supplies and KidPacks filled with shoes, clothing, and more.

For almost a decade, Cradles to Crayons—with the generous support of our donors, sponsors, and volunteers—has been sending children in need to school ready to fulfill their potential. This year, Ready for School will provide back-to-school essentials to children in need at no cost, meaning families will feel less stress and can focus on engaging their children’s excitement!


Cradles to Crayons Helps. 2015_RFS_Stats_0617_0

How to get involved:

Donate now to support a child in need with a backpack full of school supplies, plus shoes and a week’s worth of clothing.

Collect school supplies in your community, school, or faith-based organization to donate to Cradles to Crayons. For more information on how to collect & donate school supplies, email Raymond Taylor, Community Engagement Associate, or call (215) 853-6206.

Create Back-To-School cards.  Our goal is to include a hand-made card in every backpack we distribute at the beginning of each school year. More details on making cards can be found here.

Volunteer with children ages 6 & up.  A volunteer shift with your children offers a unique and meaningful opportunity to demonstrate the importance of giving back. To schedule a volunteer shift for your family or group (school, scouts, team, etc.), visit our volunteer page.

Backpack-A-ThonBPAT vols®
August 2017

Each year, Cradles to Crayons and United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey help children start the school year off right.  Your team can participate with hundreds of other volunteers when we meet at Lincoln Financial Field in August to stuff 30,000 backpacks full of school supplies.  Our service agency partners will distribute the backpacks so that children throughout our region can begin school ready to learn.



Thank you to our 2016 Backpack-A-Thon® Sponsors!

Diamond Supporter
Citizens Bank | Philadelphia Eagles
Platinum Supporter
Berkshire Hathaway | Aberdeen Asset Management | Independence Blue Cross | Wegmans
Gold SupporterAmerisourceBergen | FMC | American Airlines | Philadelphia Insurance Companies | Reed Tech |
Silver Supporter
ArcelorMittal | ATS Springs | Bank of America | BB&T Bank | BDP International | Beneficial Bank | Chartwell Investment Partners | Cigna | Citrin Cooperman | CoreDial, LLC | DLL | Dow | DSW, inc. | Enterprise Holdings | Evolve IP | First Niagara Bank | Friedman, LLP | Franklin Square Capital Partners | GKC Group | Global Indemnity Group | H&K Group | Iron Mountain | TD Bank | Target | TargetX | UPS | Westinghouse Lighting | Zurich |

For sponsorship opportunities and to participate in Backpack-A-Thon, email Susan Hight, Development Director.

Backpack-A-Thon LOGO

Check out the photo album from Backpack-A-thon 2016 here!