Cradles to Crayons is Coming to Chicago

“Imagine 1 in 3. That’s 33%. That’s 10 out of 30 kids in your classroom. That’s way too many”.
Cradles to Crayons



My eight year old has 30 kids in her classroom.
So which ten children are without necessity’s such as coats or shoes or boots especially in this bitter cold weather?
We aren’t wealthy by any stretch of the imagination, sometimes living paycheck to paycheck but we never have to go without essentials for ourselves or our children.
Ever.
Can you imagine having to make that crucial decision for your children?

I get emails quite often from companies who want me to promote their products, agenda’s, items because I write a blog that gets page views.
People read it and therefore, I have a little bit of power to suggest to you lovely people what you should or should not read, watch, buy, eat or wear.
You have seen a few things here or there from time to time but for the most part, I am very particular about what I plop in front of your eyes because I love you and I don’t want you to think I am using myself as a human billboard.
But today, I need to you pay close attention because I am writing about something that hits me in my heart and by the end of these couple of paragraph’s, I hope it will you as well.

According to my new friend Kelsey Miklos, who is the Engagement Coordinator at Cradles to Crayons, their organization is a non-profit that “serves children ages 0 to 12 years in low income and homeless situations. We collect new, or like-new children’s items and donate them back to children in need. We take donations of clothing, winter gear, boots, shoes, school supplies, toys, books, baby gear, hygiene items, and more. Our non-profit partners then place “orders” with us for a specific child in need, and then we invite volunteers into our warehouse, nicknamed The Giving Factory, to help hand-pack those items into “KidPacks” that are then given to the child in need, absolutely free of charge.” 

There was more to the email but after that first paragraph, I had tears in my eyes and I immediately knew I wanted to be a part of this amazing organization.
You could have me blather on and on about statistics that you will scan over in this post but I know you really want to know the basics so here it is: they need our help.
They are currently in Philadelphia and Boston, so if you live in or near any of those areas, please click on the links in red to head to the website to see what you can do to help out there.
I am here to write about the newest location they are opening in Chicago which is due to open late March 2016.

 

In order to get their Chicago Giving Factory ready for all of us volunteer’s (more on that in a minute), they need donations and it is so easy to donate in so many ways.
First, you can donate your gently used or never used items.
We all have had kids clothing gifts that didn’t fit our children or toys that they didn’t really like or need.
Instead of returning it to the store, why not simply donate them instead?
Now is the perfect time to scour the clearance racks for after Christmas sales and find tons of items that you could donate in addition to the items you are buying for your own children.
Head here to see the donation guidelines they offer, they are very easy to follow.

My donation box started in December, which has doubled since.

This has been an amazing project to do with Ella, my second grader.
Every time we are at the store, she wants to buy an extra now for “the kids” and she cannot wait to go to Chicago to The Giving Factory in the spring.
Which leads me to what I eluded to earlier, a giant packing party.
I want you!
And you!
And you!
Because we are on the list to be some of the first volunteers at the brand new Chicago location and I know that you all will want to be a part of this amazing experience.
If not in March, maybe in April or May or June.
But I do want to gather a group to head into The Giving Factory and spread some love.
Head here for information about ages and ratios for adults per child to help out in the factory!

Before we do that however, I need you to donate!
There are several drop off locations in the city and suburbs of Chicago to drop off your bags of love.
Head here to see all of them.
If you aren’t near any of these locations but are near ME, drop them off at my house and I will take them with me when I drop mine off which leads me to my next suggestion…..

Hosting a donation party.
Winter is hard enough so why not host a party with something uplifting to look forward to?
I know I used to host parties where we used to bring our old clothing, shoes etc, and then swap them.
Maybe do that but also bring children’s items as well, bag them up and have the host donate them to Cradles to Crayons?
I am planning on throwing a party in February, so those who are local, keep your eyes out on Facebook.

Seriously think about helping out this amazing cause by either donating your goods or your time.
You can keep up with Cradles to Crayons progress in Chicago on social media by following them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

If you have any questions or you are a blogger who would be interested in helping spread the word about Cradles to Crayons, you can reach out to Kelsey at kmiklos@cradlestocrayons.org

If you are interested in joining me at the Giving Factory this spring, message me on here or on Facebook and we will set it up!




I was not compensated for this post.
All thoughts and opinions were 100% mine. 

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