This week we electronically sat down with Margaret Huey ’13 to find out about her summer internship at the Boston nonprofit Cradles to Crayons, an organization that often works with Brandeis volunteers groups. She told us about what makes Cradles to Crayons (C2C) special, why she signed on to work there over the summer, what the hardest part of her job is, and more!
Cradles to Crayons?
IMP: What kind or work does Cradles to Crayons do?
MH: Cradles is a non-profit organization that provides, free of charge, essential goods to children from low income and homeless families that they need to feel safe, warm, ready to learn and valued. We do this by collecting donations from corporate organizations, faith-based groups, and individual families.
Volunteers then come into the Giving Factory and sort through these items to make sure they are of the highest quality possible. A social service agency can fill out an order form for an individual child, and these orders are filled each week as they come to us.
IMP:What, if anything, sets Cradles to Crayons apart from other nonprofits?
MH: In the non-profit world, C2C has established itself as one of the most efficient non-profits, and has recieved a 4-star rating (the highest rating possible) from Charity Navigator for three consecutive years. C2C is also unique in that all of the donations come from Massachussetts and stay within the state; the organization is a way to connect families with excess to families in need.
Where do YOU come in?
IMP: How did you get involved with Cradles to Crayons? Had you volunteered there before becoming an intern?
MH: After completing a trip with Volunteer Vacations where a lot of the volunteering that we did in Houston, Texas focused on helping children, I knew that I wanted to continue to make an impact to under priveleged children and started looking online for organizations in the Boston area.
I had heard of Cradles to Crayons before, and saw that there was an interning opportunity for college students during the summer time. I had never gotten the chance to volunteer here before, but quickly fell in love with the organization. Going in to intern a couple days a week has definitely been one of the highlights of my summer.
So, being an intern…
IMP: How long is your internship for? When did you start?
MH: My internship has lasted for almost three months, we started training on June 1st and my last official day here as an intern will be August 19th. Although I am not exactly sure what my plans will be in the fall yet, I hope to remain in close contact with the staff at Cradles and at least come in to volunteer as often as I can. And of course, I would like to continue to help organize volunteer groups to come in and volunteer at Cradles along with me.
IMP: As an intern, what kind of work are you doing for Cradles to Crayon?
MH: As an intern, some of my responsibilities have included giving orientation to volunteer groups that come in to Cradles and the leading them in on their specific project for the day. I have also participated in several workshops that have taught me more about the inner workings of a non-profit. However, my biggest goal as an intern has been to try to get college students (Brandeisians specifically!) more involved with volunteering here, as it is a truly rewarding experience.
The Best and the Worst?
IMP: What is most rewarding about your internship? Least?
MH: The most rewarding aspect of the internship is definitely the people that I get to work with every time I come in. There are always different groups, and many people are very enthusiastic about volunteering! People who come in have a variety of backgrounds, and everyone brings a different strength to the table.
One of the hardest things about being an intern here is that, although an impact made every day, it has made the realities of children living without a winter coat or shoes to walk to school very real for me. There are still thousands of children in Massachussets who could benefit very much from Cradles’ help, and helping to get Brandeis students enthusiastic about this as well, would really make a big difference.
What can WE do?
IMP: How can members of the Brandeis community get involved?
MH: There is no limit to how many members of the Brandeis community can get involved! Everyone can help out in their own way, whether it’s coming in to volunteer, applying to work as an intern for the fall, spring or summer semester, hosting a drive on campus or donating to a drive. There is certainly something that everyone can give to make a change to child in need.
Thanks Margaret! If you have any questions for Margaret about C2C or how you can help, leave a comment here or contact Margaret at email@example.com.
If you have a suggestion of someone you think we should interview let us know by posting a comment below!