On Friday, March 27th, At Your Service Boston chose to spend our At Your Service Day of Service with Cradles to Crayons at the Giving Factory. If you have never heard of Cradles to Crayons, I encourage you to research their cause, make a donation, and take time to volunteer with them at the Giving Factory: https://www.cradlestocrayons.org/ .
Cradles to Crayons helps hundreds of thousands of children in the Cities of Boston and Philadelphia, with a mission that “one day every child will have the essentials they need.” Cradles to Crayons collects donations of new and lightly used children's items for children ages newborn to 12 years old. They provide new or gently used school supplies, clothes, shoes, and books to statewide homeless and low-income children through a united network of social service agencies and schools. Last year, they reached 100,000 children in the city of Boston, which we learned is only 1/3 of the children that need the help they provide.
Upon entering the Giving Factory we were greeted by delightful workers and a group of volunteers, mixed of local organizations, student groups, and families eager to begin. Our At Your Service group was assigned the task to sort children’s fall/spring jackets. We sorted the spring and fall jackets based on gender and the size of the jacket to give to a specific child. The items cannot be dirty, over used, or have any branding on them (unless it’s a Boston Sports team, of course). Having the volunteers organize the donations is such an imperative aspect of their mission. Cradles to Crayons matches each item with a child based on the age or size of the child, their needs, and interests. Each child receives a unique package hand picked for them specifically, meant to feel like a gift and bring them joy in their adverse circumstances. The Giving Factory radiates love, hope, and selflessness.
It is through days like our Day of Service that I remember to appreciate the people in my life and be thankful for the things I take for granted on a daily basis. I truly believe that, when a company creates a culture valuing good will, generosity, and hospitality, they're not only serving their clients but they’re enriching their employees. I am proud to be a member of such a company.
-Hannah Slaga, AYS Boston