The Hired Pens Selects Pro-Bono Client: Cradles to Crayons

A few months ago, a good friend of mine posted some upsetting images of starving children of Somalia on her Facebook page with a request for donations to Doctors without Borders. I couldn’t stop looking at them … and felt near tears the entire day. (This is not a good state to be in when you’re trying to get work done.) It made me realize that as a copywriting business, we have a lot of power to actually do some good. And at the time, we weren’t.

Sure, over the years we’ve donated writing services to several worthy organizations, from Stop Handgun Violence to Down:2:Earth, a green living expo. But we’ve never had a long-term relationship with an organization, and seeing these images made me realize it was time to commit.

Also, as a mother, I wanted to work with an organization that supported children in need. And I wanted that organization to be local so we could have a more personal connection with its team. I posted on Facebook looking for ideas and kept getting suggestions for the Boston-based Cradles to Crayons, an organization that gives needy local children everything from school supplies to winter coats.

I did a little research and three things sold me:

1.)    They received the highest rating (four stars) from charity watchdog “Charity Navigator.” Translation: This is a trustworthy operation that spends its money wisely.

2.)    They let children as young as five volunteer. I love the idea that someday my toddler will join them, as they wash and sort toys like little elves. And props to Cradles. I’m sure these little elves are quite a handful.

3.)    They’re on top of things. When I told them I was hosting a fundraiser, they replied not just with a vague thank you, but with a flyer they’d personalized for my event. And when I offered to donate writing services, they didn’t waste any time (mine or theirs). They knew exactly what they needed and who I needed to meet with to make it happen. A few of my paying clients could learn a thing or two from them …

We are excited to be working with such a great organization and will keep you posted on the neat projects we’re doing over the next year. First up is a “Recipes for Giving” calendar, where we’ll be writing (hopefully) inspired fundraising ideas in recipe format. So, if you have any of your own you’d like to share, please tell us.

To learn more about this organization or make a donation, please visit Right now they really need new or gently worn children’s coats.

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