The Cradles to Crayons giving factory is impressive. Racks upon racks are filled with gently used children's clothes and toys. Colorful signs that label the items hang from the ceilings. Staff members greet volunteers at the door and are excited for the extra helping hands.
Celtics legends Dave Cowens and Satch Sanders lend a hand at the Cradles to Crayons Giving Factory.
It's apparent that Lynn Margherio's dream -- to see underprivileged youth have access to every day necessities in order to be successful in life -- has flourished through her non-profit organization, Cradles to Crayons. Since its inception, the foundation has worked closely with other charities including Horizons for Homeless Children to help better the lives of thousands of children.
On August 19, Celtics legends Tom "Satch" Sanders and Dave Cowens, along with members of the Celtics staff, joined Old Mutual for their volunteer day at Cradles to Crayons.
"Satch and I are happy to be here," said Cowens as he addressed the volunteers. "The Celtics always team up with great organizations like Cradles to Crayons and we are excited to help make some kids' dreams come true today."
Following the welcoming remarks and introduction, volunteers were divided into four groups: toy sorting, clothes sorting, outfit room and shopping crew.
Old Mutual and Celtics Volunteers cleaned toys and placed them in particular areas based on the age and sex of a child. Others inspected donated clothing and bagged it by size and gender. Some volunteers prepared bags of outfits for particular children that would be sent out immediately. The shopping crew added toys and other essentials to the order with the bagged outfits.
Cradles to Crayons Volunteer Leader and Warehouse Associate Terrel Stokes knows first-hand how much the organization helped the Boston community. "I used to live in Dorchester and on my way to work in the mornings I would see children with the backpacks that we donate annually. Some of our partners were my neighbors. I personally knew our social workers from other work in the community. Cradles to Crayons has brought our community together and I'm proud to be a part of it."
After finishing up at their assigned stations, volunteers assembled for a wrap-up meeting. Amazingly, the toy sorting group impacted 180 children and the clothes sorting group reached 112. Seventy-one outfits were packed for children, and 92 children were served by the shopping crew group. In all, 455 children were impacted thanks to the work of volunteers from Old Mutual and the Celtics.
"Volunteers are the engine for our organization," said Margherio. "We cannot complete our mission without volunteers holding drives out in the community and volunteering at the giving factory by sorting, inspecting and packaging items. More importantly, volunteers are able to spread the word that Cradles to Crayons is a place to donate gently used, high quality, outgrown children's clothing, as well as books, toys and baby gear."
Related: Learn more about the Cradles to Crayons program.