The team at Sensible Financial works so hard to provide good financial advice because we want to bring you peace of mind. That same passion for easing people’s financial worries also drives us to volunteer in ways that support those less fortunate. Last year, we gathered at the Cradles to Crayons warehouse in Newton to sort clothes and supplies for families in need. Volunteering together warmed our hearts so much that we knew we wanted to go back this winter.
This year is special for both Cradles and Sensible – it’s the 20th anniversary of both organizations! In honor of the occasion, Sensible purchased 20 snow jackets and 20 pairs of snow boots for Cradles to support their local Gear Up for Winter campaign. The firm and some team members also donated financially. But the most important part to us was the time at the warehouse. All seventeen active Sensible team came to the Cradles warehouse. We brought gently used items and lots of energy to sort, inspect, and package items from Cradles’ community donation drives. Over a two-hour shift, we checked hundreds of donations of clothes, school supplies, books, and hygiene supplies to make sure they were in good condition. We sorted the clothes by size to prepare them for the next crew of volunteers to pack and ship them.
The idea for Cradles to Crayons came to Boston business strategist Lynn Margherio when she was visiting her family for the holidays in 2001. As she was helping her little niece get dressed, she noticed the dresser was full of too-small clothes that had rarely, if ever, been worn. Lynn started thinking of a way to get those clothes to parents who couldn’t afford new clothes for their kids. The next year she founded Cradles to Crayons. The organization’s vision is to create a future where “every child will have the essentials they need to feel safe, warm, ready to learn, and valued.” Twenty years later, Cradles now provides clothes and essential supplies for babies and kids up to age 12 in Boston, Philadelphia, and Chicago.
Community organizations and social service professionals meet with families to learn their needs and their kids’ clothing sizes. They send that information to Cradles. At the warehouse, Cradles matches up the right clothes and supplies to give to each family. Getting new clothes that fit is a big deal for kids who are used to oversized hand-me-downs and old shoes that pinch – and a big deal for parents already struggling to pay their bills.
Anne Smith, Sensible’s HR generalist and a previous Cradles volunteer, helped coordinate last year’s volunteer session and did the same this year. She, executive assistant Erica Sibley, financial advisor Laura Williams, and operations associate Sonja Murphy paired off to sponsor two “outfit packs” – a week’s worth of clothing – for children in need. “It feels good to be helping out and knowing those clothes will keep kids warm this winter,” Anne said. “I’m glad we could make a difference. At Cradles, the Sensible team can see the immediate impact our volunteering has on families in need.”
Please join us in helping Cradles to Crayons provide clothes to kids this holiday season! You can volunteer your time, host a clothing drive, or donate new or lightly used items. Cradles is a 501(c)(3) organization, so your donations are tax deductible.