With a family of six, going out to eat is a risky move. And although we know the odds are against us, as parents, we close our eyes, and we roll the dice anyway. We walk into that restaurant, and start to pray. Pray for an available table of six with less than a 10 minute wait. Pray for crayons to entertain the kids. And pray that we get out of there without any major catastrophes. When it means that mom doesn’t have to cook after a football game, sometimes you just have to take the chance, and put all your money on the crayons.
Recently, I was introduced to an awesome organization called Crayon Collection. Until now, it never dawned on me that those colorful game-changing distractions our kids receive while dining out are thrown away afterward, only to stay in a landfill forever, because they never decompose. Crayon Collection teaches kids many wonderful lessons through the collection and redistribution of a would-be trashed crayon.
Crayon Collection’s Crayon Recycling Program is the collection and redistribution of the beloved crayon, and teaches children all over the United States and beyond our borders that being environmentally conscious starts from the very basic idea that not everything should be trashed. Crayons are the perfect example as they never decompose and many children have access to them everywhere, especially when they dine out and/or at the end of the school year when cleaning out their supplies.
I was shocked to find out that restaurants in America throw away over 150 MILLION crayons per year! Parents in well-served communities share their guilt when they toss all the crayons kids have left over at the end of the school year, assuming that no one would want a used crayon. Crayon Collection is here to help. They are setting out to provide the millions of children around the globe yearning for a creative outlet with not only crayons, but also art education programs.
Sheila Morovati, President & Founder of Crayon Collection is on a mission to activate our children to enhance the lives of other neighboring children through her great organization. “When children learn that perfectly good crayons are thrown away by the millions per year, they immediately are affected and ask, ‘But why would anyone do that?’. We have the answer and the solution, and kids who learn about our work become activated to help.”
How It Works:
Crayon Collection asks kids to help out by picking up the crayons from restaurants or laying around their home and drop them in a bin to donate to kids within their own community. Children learn about giving back and about the environment through this experience. As the next generation said to have the power to turn the negative trajectory of our environment around, I find this an incredibly worthy cause.
Who It Benefits:
The collected crayons are donated to children living under the poverty line in either Title 1 Schools or Head Start Centers. Crayon Collection partners with the National Head Start Association as well as Region 9 Head Start. The children who receive the crayons sadly don’t have any crayons at all, and have zero art programming despite studies proving that students with access to art education perform better in ALL subjects including math, language arts and reading. Crayon Collection has artist volunteer partners and also doctoral students in education at Loyola Marymount University who provide art projects, that allow the children in underserved schools to have access to a full art program.
The best part? Schools all around the world can participate. The crayons are NEVER shipped to the Crayon Collection organization, they are simply donated within local communities.
Five Ways YOU Can Help:
1. Make a cash donation to support Crayon Collection programming in communities across America
2. Start a Classy campaign! Their online fundraising platform is a community where you can rally your family and friends to support local classrooms in need, art education, and the environment through the simple act of saving a crayon
3. Start a Crayon Collection and support your local school
4. Volunteer! Become a Crayon Collection Ambassador in your community
5. Know any artists? Artists welcomed! Join the Artist Inspiration and Artist Inspired Education initiatives to support arts programming in Los Angeles and beyond
I can’t tell you how many times crayons have saved the day for us. So, this is just one way that I’d like to give back. Crayon Collection makes it easy to give back to the environment, and to kids right in our own communities – two noble, and worthy causes I can stand behind. It’s no wonder I was so drawn to (no pun intended) Crayon Collection from the start!