PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A Philadelphia non-profit that helps thousands of low-income children is about to help even more, kicking off a new phase in a new spot. Cradles to Crayons is abuzz with activity in its new warehouse in East Falls.
Moving from its former headquarters in Montgomery County to Philadelphia is part of an expansion of its 13-year-old mission to provide everything from school supplies to clothes to tens of thousands of homeless and low-income children in Philadelphia.
“In West Conshohocken, we were helping 70,000 children annually,” said executive director Michal Smith. “We believe in this brand new space we can help 100,000 annually.”
Smith said the stacks of donated clothes fill a need that’s particularly acute in summer when students no longer have access to free or reduced-priced lunches.
“Suddenly the family budget has to stretch farther not only for clothes, but for food,” Smith said. “That’s why it’s absolutely essential that we can boost the household income by providing clothes in the summer.”
One of the people packing clothes for kids is Cristo Rey High School student Quamere Sabb. He is doing work-study at Cradles to Crayons.
“I’m into fashion and everything, so creating the outfits for the children really has a great impact on me,” Sabb said. “And I can make them look nice and give them a little style.”
School supplies are needed even in the summer, says associate operations director Cy Maramangalam.
“Children in school often can lose up to two grade levels in the summer, so we can provide all the supplies that they need in school supplies to give them a healthy start,” Maramangalam said.
Now that the weather is warming, Cradles to Crayons is asking for your gently used coats. “We have the luxury now in this new warehouse of being able to collect them now for long-term storage, so that when we hit the winter, we’re going to be ready,” Smith said.
They would be happy to have some warmth sent their way.
Cradles to Crayons has a grand opening and ribbon cutting at its new East Falls location on Saturday, May 18, 2019 from 10:00 AM to noon. There will be face painting, volunteer activities, and a visit from the Philadelphia Wings mascot. The organization is always in need of items like socks and underwear, pants size 10 and up, and items for toddlers (ages 18 to 24 months).
Cradles to Crayons is now located at 4700 Wissahickon Ave., Suite 142, Philadelphia, PA 19144, in the same complex as Material Culture.
NOTE: Cars cannot enter the parking lot from Wissahickon Avenue. The organization suggests using Google Maps and searching for “Cradles to Crayons,” which guides drivers to the correct entrance. They say other GPS systems have not been as reliable at guiding visitors to the Cradles to Crayons entrance.
For more about Cradles to Crayons, go to https://www.cradlestocrayons.org/philadelphia/.
For more about Saturday’s event, go to https://www.facebook.com/events/272961386986695/.