Employees at supplier Charles River Apparel (PPAI 111644, S10) recently stuffed more than 1,000 backpacks with school supplies and essentials for Cradles to Crayons’ Ready for Learning initiative. The items will be distributed to children up to age 12 who are living in homelessness or low-income situations. The Sharon, Massachusetts-based supplier has partnered with the nonprofit on volunteer events in both its Chicago and Boston locations for more than 10 years.

“Cradles to Crayons is such a thoughtful, inspiring organization to work with,” says Deb Lipsett, co-owner of Charles River Apparel. “They really know how to motivate the community to get involved and empower volunteers to not only give back but have fun doing so. We are proud to partner with such a great organization.”

The nonprofit’s program distributes age-appropriate, crucial learning supplies and other essentials such as clothing, shoes and hygiene items to students to ensure they have everything they need to learn.

For this event, in addition to assembling backpacks, Charles River Apparel employees also sorted more than 600 pieces of apparel to be prepared as a separate donation.

“We want to ensure kids are prepared and confident for the school year,” says Katie Amoro, senior director of development for Cradles to Crayons. “Our goal this year is to distribute 65,000 backpacks to homeless and low-income students across the state, our largest goal yet, and we are proud to be able to do this in such a challenging time… We are incredibly grateful for our partnership with Charles River Apparel, who not only helped us stuff over 1,000 backpacks but also donated over 600 fleeces and jackets.”