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#RedSparkGives: How We Helped Cradles to Crayons Make an Impact

For children living in poverty, every day is a struggle. Many of them don’t have access to the tools necessary for childhood development. From missing toys that facilitate the development of sensory skills, to the absence of a warm coat to wear to school, children in poverty suffer every day.

That’s where Cradles to Crayons comes in. Cradles to Crayons (C2C) is a non-profit serving communities in Boston, Philadelphia, and Chicago. C2C 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 play, free of charge.

At Red Spark, we strive to make an impact in our community through our #RedSparkGives Program. Whether volunteering a few hours of our time or collecting donations at our office, we love to give back to the city of Philadelphia any chance we get.

Over the past month, we’ve been collecting both monetary and in-kind donations for C2C. As a group, we were able to donate many items such as crayons, toys, socks, and shoes. We also donated money C2C to further their mission of ending childhood poverty.

When team Red Spark arrived last week at The C2C Giving Factory in Philadelphia, we were greeted by the C2C team who began the day by telling us a few stories of families and children they had helped in the area. The organization recently served two school-age sisters who were missing school because they only had one winter coat and could not afford to get another. They had to take turns going to school as the weather got cooler.

Thankfully, C2C was able to send out care packages to the girls immediately, ensuring both girls would be able to go to school. Many children in need in the Philadelphia region and beyond face a similar reality every day. With the combined efforts of C2C and their volunteers, they hope to see the day we live in a world that is free of childhood poverty. That idea inspires them to make an impact, and it inspired us too.

“For me, the Cradles to Crayons event was our most meaningful to date because it was so eye-opening to see the struggles that some families face,” says Senior Accountant Melissa Rainho, “Our society can’t afford to have kids missing school because they don’t have a warm jacket to walk to school in.”

Our team also worked in their Toy Shop, where we cleaned toys and ensured that they were working properly. We created “Play Packs” to be distributed to children in need in our region. Play Packs consist of three to four toys that are both fun and will aid the child developmentally. Each Play Pack is personalized to fit the needs of the child receiving it.

“Volunteering at Cradles to Crayons was an amazing experience. It allowed us to bond as co-workers outside of the office while making a difference in our own community. I look forward to volunteering at Cradles to Crayons again.” said Senior Marketing Manager Lauren Wiener.

For some, like Lead Operations Specialist Anna Cornog, it meant even more being so close to the holidays. “Being able to volunteer my time at Cradles to Crayons was such a wonderful experience and really warmed my heart as we come into the holiday season. We were able to put together a plethora of toy kits for children of all ages. I felt like one of Santa’s little helpers! It truly was such a rewarding experience, and I can’t wait to go back.”

The battle with childhood poverty is far from over, but by making donations and distributing them to those who need it, we can make the future a little brighter for our community. By the time we had finished, the Cradles to Crayons team informed us that our contributions would impact approximately five to six families in need. And knowing that so many families and children live in poverty, it felt good to know we would be making a difference in their lives.

Want to join our supportive team that always strives to make an impact? Head to the careers page and check out our current job listings!

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