Perhaps the best-case scenario when you bring your children to a restaurant is that you are greeted with crayons and a kid's menu with activities for them to occupy themselves with. But what happens after your dinner, when you leave and the discarded crayons roll idly toward the condiments and off the table?
One dad, Bryan Ware, posed this question to a restaurant employee and was told, ". . . every crayon put out on the table had to be thrown away after the table's customers left — whether it'd been used down to a nub or left completely untouched." Deciding then and there that it was silly and wasteful for the crayons' fate to be the dumpster, he started collecting unwanted crayons — what he did with them is helping children in hospitals unleash their creativity.
In 2013, Ware created The Crayon Initiative, a nonprofit organization that turns old crayons into new ones and donates them to children's hospitals. To make the crayons, Ware and his team sort old crayons by color and melt down the wax, which is then put into a mold that creates crayons with an easy grip, which are best suited for young kids.
While the donations have all taken place in California hospitals so far, this month Ware and his team are making their first delivery to a hospital in New York City, expanding the mission to the other side of the country and helping more kids. Ware wants to give sick kids the opportunity to continue being kids, despite their circumstances.
"From my perspective, the biggest goal is to give them an escape. 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."
Read through to see photos of the process, and to donate to the cause, visit The Crayon Initiative's website.