#FeatureFriday: Cradles to Crayons’ Ready for School Backpack-A-Thon
More than 300,000 children in Massachusetts will carry their homework and books in unreliable plastic bags in place of backpacks this year. Many of those children will not have a pencil or notebook on their first day of school. Cradles to Crayons held their tenth annual Ready for School Backpack-A-Thon on August 5, 2016 to help these children obtain the supplies they need to learn.
Retrieved from: Cradles to Crayons Massachusetts Facebook
Cradles to Crayons is an organization located in Boston, Philadelphia, and Chicago. The organization provides toys, clothing and school supplies to children from birth to age 12 living in low-income or poverty situations. They collect the items from donations at various drop-off locations and give them to children in need. Cradles to Crayons engages and connects communities who have with communities in need. Their network includes 124 Nonprofit Social Service Partners.
Around 850 volunteers spent less than four hours filling 40,000 backpacks with school supplies at Boston’s City Hall Plaza. These supplies included notebooks, pencils, rulers, calculators, and more. The backpacks were filled in an assembly-line format. Nonprofit Social Service Partners picked up many of the backpacks directly from the plaza. These backpacks were delivered to children within days of the event.
After volunteers finished filling the backpacks they sat back, relaxed and enjoyed lunch. During lunch they listened to the amazing ways that the annual event helps thousands of local children.
Specific jobs were given to volunteers at the Backpack-A-Thon. Backpack Stuffers filled the backpacks with all of the supplies that the children will need. The qualifications for this job included speed, precision, positivity and dancing skills. Speedy Suppliers unpacked supplies and handed them off to supply runners. Supply runners brought the supplies to tables that needed them. The cardboard boxes were taken to the green machines. The Green Machines broke down the cardboard boxes. They helped remove supply packaging and brought it to the compactors. To be a green machine volunteers needed strength, skill and enthusiasm. Hauling Heroes took the backpacks from the end of the stuffing lines and loaded them onto trailers. Volunteers needed strength and energy for this job. Devoted Distributors needed to find the correct number of age-appropriate backpacks and sent them off with the correct agency. The agencies then delivered them to the children that needed them, preparing them for a successful school year.
The Golden Pencil Awards were given out to deserving volunteers at the end of the day. The Rookie of the Year award went to the most skilled first-time volunteer. The Old School award went to the veteran volunteer whose skills set the pace for the day. The Families Helping Families award went to the family that worked best together. The best dressed team won the Dressed for Success award. The team with the best dance moves received the Backpack Boogie Award. The MVP (Most Valuable Pencil) award will go to the person who put in the most effort throughout the day.
School supplies are important for children so that they can become psychologically and physically prepared for school. These supplies give children the knowledge that they have the same chance of succeeding in school as their peers.
We are excited to have our tents and other rental items at an event that supports education so diligently. A great number of children will benefit from the Backpack-A-Thon and will be able to get the education they deserve with the supplies given to them. Cradles to Crayons is a great organization and continues to help children from birth to age 12 in low income or poverty situations. We love working with this amazing organization and look forward to the event.
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