For the past several years, PALCS 4th and 5th grade teachers and students have participated in a day of service at the Cradles to Crayons facility in Philadelphia.
Cradles for Crayons is a non-profit organization that collects donations of essential items for children such as winter boots and coats, clothing, books, craft supplies, and toys. Cradles to Crayons is “driven by a focused and all-important goal: to make life better for children in need.” In order to reach this goal, a “wide variety of individuals and groups [such as PALCS] come together to make a difference!”
PALCS students and teachers work a shift in The Giving Factory Warehouse. There, they participate in hands-on processing of the donated goods that flow in on a regular basis.
“We present [the students] with a task to volunteer themselves, work for a non-profit organization, to maybe step outside of their comfort zone”, Mr. Cooper (4th Grade teacher) explains.
“Philadelphia is consistently ranked either 1st or 2nd for poorest city in the country, so that is where Cradles for Crayons steps in,” an employee tells PALCS students before putting them to work. Each station in the warehouse includes inspecting, sorting, and packaging donations to ultimately be distributed to the children served. Students were trained on what they should be looking for when it comes to quality and also appropriateness for children. Donations that are in good shape, or close to new, could make a child feel happy or comfortable, rather than something that looks overly used or incomplete. “The Cradles to Crayons Project here at PALCS, is an opportunity that we try and give the students, to give back to the community,” says Mr. Cooper. “For some it is an eye-opening experience – but for everyone it is a fun experience.”
Luckily, the PALCS Video Production Team had to opportunity to join our students and teachers on this trip. Take a glance at what the volunteer experience was all about in our PALCS Visits Cradles to Crayons YouTube Video!
If you, too, would like to make a difference, you can donate, give back, volunteer in your community, and get involved! We are extremely proud of all of our students who go out of their way each day to help others or make a change. Keep up the good work!