Have you ever been to a restaurant with paper table cloths and where crayons were passed around…with the expectation that you and your kids would do some doodling? We have and our kids love it when that happens!
And have you ever wondered where those used and hardly used crayons go when you leave? To be honest, I’ve never thought about it, but Bryan Ware did and started a movement that will melt your heart like he melts those used crayons!
It all started in 2011 with a crazy notion about recycling those used (and gently used) crayons that were left behind.
In his curiosity, Bryan asked restaurant employees about what exactly happens to these old crayons and the answer shocked him AND got him thinking.
So, he began collecting those old crayons with the idea to recycle them and give them to children who don’t have any.
Two years later, Bryan founded The Crayon Initiative, a nonprofit organization that repurposes old unusable crayon wax into new crayons and distributes them to children’s hospitals across California.
Once Bryan collects the discarded crayons, he begins separate them by color and melts them down. He later remolds them into new, wax crayons.
The special mold Bryan uses is large and triangular rather than small and circular. This was designed to specifically help children with special and to assist the occupational therapists that work with these kids.
The company then puts the new crayons in boxes and delivers them to children of all ages who are in the hospital for any reason.
To date, Bryan’s Crayon Initiative has created and donated more than 2,000 boxes of crayons to children’s hospitals. And in September of 2015, Bryan will make his first out-of-state delivery to a hospital in New York City. Bryan hopes The Crayon Initiative will continue to expand and bring crayons to kids in hospitals all over the country.
Bryan also hopes these crayons can help children in hospitals express themselves artistically, continue normal childhood development and communicate through drawing what they may not be able to say verbally. But more than anything, he hopes he can play some part in making their hospital stays a little easier.
“From my perspective, the biggest goal is to give them an escape,” Bryan said. “I can’t even fathom what these kids are going through. If these crayons give them an escape from that hospital room for ten minutes, we did our job.”
Thank you, Bryan, for your love and compassion for these children. Your story, as well as, your heart inspires us all to do more for others. May God continue to bless your Crayon Initiative and your family as you work to bring joy to these children. May He also continue to bring more and more used (and gently used) crayons your way. What a blessing you are!
For another inspiring story, click here!