City Connects believes that all children can learn and thrive in school if their non-school needs are addressed. A critical partner in meeting these needs is Cradles to Crayons, a powerhouse Boston nonprofit that provides, free of charge, disadvantaged children with the essential items that all kids need to flourish. Cradles to Crayons has supported Boston’s children by providing vital items like backpacks filled with supplies at the start of school and hats and coats during the winter.
On June 17, as part of a year-end day of service, City Connects School Site Coordinators and Program Managers spent the day at Cradles to Crayons’ “Giving Factory,” a warehouse in Brighton, where they inspected, sorted, and packaged clothing donations for children. Emily York, City Connects Program Manager, said:
“Cradles to Crayons has been an important partner for City Connects for several years, thanks in part to the hard work of several of our School Site Coordinators, most notably Amy Cluff, Brendan Adams, and Elizabeth Centeio. With their move to the new Giving Factory space in Brighton, our partnership has been strengthened even more. Since Cradles to Crayons is such an important partner for us, we were excited about the opportunity to spend some time volunteering. We were divided into teams to create bags of clothing items for children of certain ages and genders; it was so much fun! The staff there are friendly and energetic and we could not have asked for a better day.”
Following the volunteer day, Kylee North, Cradles to Crayons’ Manager of Distribution Partnerships, contacted us to let us know about availability of a special donation: 400 Leap Pad learning tablets. Our Program Managers were thrilled and thought the donation would be perfectly suited for students at three City Connects elementary schools in Boston that were closing–the Farragut, Emerson, and Agassiz. In addition to those schools, there were enough Leap Pads to share with six more City Connects schools: Edison, Winship, Jackson Mann, Dever McCormack, Holland, and Mason. Said Kylee:
“Cradles to Crayons is dedicated to serving kids in need. Our vision that one day, every child in need will have the essentials to feel safe, warm, ready to learn, and valued, drives us to partner with different agencies across the state that share in that vision. City Connects is no exception. We know that when we provide children’s items to City Connects, those items go directly to the kids who need them the most in the Boston Public Schools. It’s collaborative partnerships like these that help Cradles to Crayons deepen our impact and further our reach to serve more children in need.”
Emily York says that with Kylee’s help, a more streamlined process has been created allowing School Site Coordinators at every City Connects school to place orders more easily. They can provide families with the items they need with more accuracy and quicker than ever before.
Thank you, Cradles to Crayons, for all the great work you do on behalf of Boston’s children!
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