Bekah Arsenault, Carrie Jones, Barry Eom, Katie Carr, Sophia Windemuth, Hiroshi Yuasa, Josh Grasso-Martin
BHS Working to Help the Homeless Volunteers at Cradles to Crayons
By Bekah Arsenault (BHS ’14 and Co-President of WTHH)
On Wednesday, March 12th, rather than using their half day to hang out with friends or catch up on homework, seven students from Belmont High School’s Working to Help the Homeless club spent the afternoon doing activities that benefited 240 poor and homeless children. This took place at Cradles to Crayons, or “Cradles,” a nonprofit organization run out of a warehouse in Brighton that provides clothes, holiday gifts, and school supplies to thousands of kids around Massachusetts.
The Belmont High School students arrived at Cradles at 1:00 and were immediately impressed by the mere size and stock of the facility. As far as the eye could see, there were aisles of donated goods, which would all eventually be picked up to fulfill the request of a boy or girl in need. Despite the large number of donations, Amanda, a Cradles employee, explained that the charity is always in need of more donations, as it aims to help as many of the 305,000 poor children in Massachusetts as it can. She explained that, unfortunately, Cradles often can’t fully meet requests, showing a care package for a seven year-old boy that was missing shoes because they didn’t have any available in his size.
The BHS students were assigned to help in the toy department. For two hours, they checked many toys to make sure they all looked new, worked well, and were complete with all the original parts. Toys that didn’t fit these requirements had to be thrown away or given to the Salvation Army. Though throwing away toys felt wasteful, Cradles wants to fully ensure that children receiving the gifts feel special, not like they are receiving someone else’s old, beat up toy, because every child deserves to be recognized. The BHS students agreed that it was great to know that the toys they were sorting through would one day make a child feel very happy and loved.