Bryan Ware was inspired to create The Crayon Initiative while watching his two sons color during a birthday dinner. “I wondered, ‘What happens to these crayons after we leave if we don't take them with us?'” the dad told The Mighty. Later, he asked a restaurant employee this same question and was upset to hear that all the crayons are thrown out after they leave–even if they're left untouched. To change the crayons' wasteful fate, Ware began to take them home because he was sure he could find a way to give these unwanted coloring tools to a kid in need.
From this simple, yet extremely considerate idea, The Crayon Initiative was born. This nonprofit organization's goal is to repurpose old crayons into new ones for the children at California-based hospitals. To make this happen, Ware collects unusable crayons from restaurants, schools, and friends. Then, he melts them down and uses a special mold to form the fresh drawing utensils. The special mold is key because it was developed in collaboration with an occupational therapist to make it easier for special needs children to hold.
Since its conception, this nonprofit has donated more than 2,000 crayon boxes to children's hospitals. This month, the initiative will perform its very first out-of-state donation to a New York City hospital. In doing so, Ware hopes to continue expanding as he supports the hospitalized youth all across the country. “From my perspective, the biggest goal is to give them an escape,” he continued. “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.”