Cradles to Crayons®, a nonprofit organization that equips 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, commences its Gear Up for Winter initiative, a program aiming to provide families and children with warm winter items necessary for the approaching chilling temperatures.
This year’s Gear Up for Winter program intends to support 40,000 children in need and keep them safe and warm during this harsh season. The organization aims to fulfill every request made for a winter coat, hat, and gloves, as well as warm layers of clothing, waterproof winter boots, and other basic essentials. Individually tailored "KidPacks" are also packed and distributed based on each child’s specific needs, providing all children with the items they require to stay healthy and engaged in their childhood. Cradles to Crayons is urgently asking for 15,000 coats, sizes infant through adult medium, to fill the demand. The organization emphasizes preparedness and is looking to the community for assistance now.
New England winters bring harsh and occasionally unpredictable conditions, increasing Cradles to Crayons’ urgency of financial and product donations. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children are less able to regulate their body temperature compared to adults. As a result, children are more likely to develop significant health effects when they are exposed to environmental temperature extremes.
“There are currently more than 300,000 children in The Commonwealth living in low-income and homeless situations facing the risk of heading into winter without proper, safe essentials,” said Lynn Margherio, Founder and CEO of Cradles to Crayons. “We aim to prepare families and children with these items before freezing temperatures arrive. Donations of new or like-new winter clothing will assist thousands of children struggling to stay warm both indoors and outdoors.”
“Often a parent is stressed when the child has a mid-year growth spurt and clothing, coats, and especially footwear, become too small,” Lydia Brown, Family Nurturing Center of MA. “Parents are very thankful when they receive items that fit their children properly.”
About Cradles to Crayons
Cradles to Crayons launched in 2002 and has operations in Boston, Philadelphia, and Chicago. The nonprofit 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. They supply these items free of charge by engaging and connecting communities that have with communities that need. Cradles to Crayons mobilizes communities of plenty on behalf of communities of need, recycling and reusing high-quality children’s goods and engaging thousands of youth and adults in tangible service activities each year that benefit local children. For more information, please visit www.cradlestocrayons.org/boston/.