The Cradle Blog

The Cradle Enters 2020 With Gratitude

The Cradle enters 2020 with gratitude, looking back to the heartwarming generosity of all the individuals and groups who contributed to our holiday gift program one month ago.

The Holiday Gift Program is The Cradle’s annual campaign to provide Cradle families with a brighter holiday season through the provision of gifts and gift cards for goods and meals. This year,132 children received gifts through the program, provided by 55 donors. More than one third of our holiday gift program donors were adoptive or waiting parents, and the community at St. Matthews’ Episcopal Church sponsored 30 children. In addition to our generous network of annual donors to this campaign, we also saw participation from Cradle cuddlers, associates board members, staff and several first-time donors.

The Program matches about 150 children with sponsors who generously provide things from the child's "needs" list (coat, PJs, underwear, etc.) and "wants" list (Match Box cars, science kits, art supplies etc.). To date, we've provided about 900 bags of holiday gifts, but the broader impact is difficult to quantify. Nine hundred smiling children's faces swell into thousands as you think of the happiness this generosity delivers to financially-stressed parents and guardians and the siblings, family, and friends who are close to these kids.

Each year, this campaign is volunteer-led by dedicated Cradle volunteer, Becky Kimbell. Becky spends close to 100 hours each holiday season, from October up through December, coordinating wish lists, deliveries, shopping trips and organizing gifts in collaboration with The Cradle’s expectant parent services and development teams. While her donation of her time and generosity of spirit speak volumes, we wanted to highlight Becky’s involvement in this program by showcasing her experience, in her own words.

“I began coordinating the Holiday Gift Program for [Cradle] families six years ago." says Becky. "What began as a short-term assignment to get my foot in the door to become a nursery cuddler has become my calling at The Cradle, to the point that the Holiday Gift Program has now become an indispensable part of my own holiday!"

"Then there are the smiling faces of caseworkers and Cradle volunteers who deliver the bundles to the families, and our sponsors who often shop for their Cradle child with family members and friends. Even the people in line behind me at Target as I buy a cart load of toys and snow boots (made possible through our generous sponsors' gift cards) end up feeling merry after hearing about the program. Truly, the joy of this program is contagious!"


If you are interested in donatingyour time, talent or treasure to support individuals and families touched by adoption, contact Rachel J. Solomon at

The Cradle accepts gifts in-kind during business hours (M-F, 8:30 – 5). Please call 847-733-3234 to coordinate giving of new or gently used items. Our Nursery has an Amazon Wish List - CLICK HERE. We accept gift cards and transportation passes for clients year ‘round.

While The Cradle does not currently offer new regular volunteer opportunities, if you have a special skill you’d like to share to advance our vision, or would like to support events and campaigns, please contact to get started.