Corporations and Philanthropy

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Perhaps you have witnessed the amazing exposure that we have been receiving over the last few weeks. What started out with a local newspaper interview led to a different radio station featuring us as their “feel-good story of the week”. This in turn is where the proverbial dominoes began to topple and before we knew it, BuzzFeed did a compilation video on us, UpWorthy did a piece, The Mighty proved incredibly lucrative and before we could scoot a box of crayons out of the way, NBC Nightly News contacted us as well as Canada and Europe. We had gone viral! Our social media channels blew up our numbers/response times remain impressive.

One of the unforeseen snags in this whole experience has been generating support from each level of need. Literally overnight, we had groups forming all over the country, and beyond, to collect crayons and send them to us, which is amazing. We have even had people offering to help sort and melt, but the one thing that has been steady is that we continue to feed our dream out of our personal home, melting in our personal kitchen and storing crayons in our personal garage.

The support and supply line is starting to outgrow our capacity. To take the next logical step in our growth, maximize our reach to the kids in hospitals and move in tandem with the outpouring of physical support, we need corporate sponsorship. This set us to wondering how and why would corporations donate to non-profits that clearly have the attention of millions of people.

 

Why They Donate

Many companies contribute out of a combination of altruism and self-interest, and it is nearly impossible to determine where one leaves off and the other begins. The attitudes of top management more than any other factor seem to impact the giving philosophies of corporations. Often the personal lives of the people in charge play a major role and the philanthropic arm reaches out through their teams to find a message that rings in them viscerally. Other reasons they give have a more bottom-line effect and involve the image factor of the company that is going to be represented, such as:

  • Influence legislators and other opinion makers.
  • Build better public and community relations.
  • Improve the quality of life in the geographic locales in which they operate. (Cleaner, safer, better-educated communities are good for business.)

 

This was all extremely interesting to us, and as we continue to grow (some days at an alarming rate) we look to learn as we seek other to help us expand. The bottom line is that we are very interested in sharing our growth and are certainly ready to do so. With the amount of volunteers out there actively collecting and the amount of children in need of our crayons in hospitals around the world, the time is now! Are you interested in taking us to the next level? Contact us simply by filling out this form or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.

But I’m Just a Server

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Let’s have a quick “get to know the voice” moment. My name is Tobin and I am a foodie. This is a qualifying statement so that you can know that the soliloquy I am about to launch into comes with years of back-story and passion.

I am 4+ years removed from food and beverage, where once I held the keys to 4 separate kingdoms. I was the F&B Manager at a prestigious golf club, and Assistant General Manager at a fine dining steak house, a General Manager at a Michelin recognized seafood restaurant and a partner in a bar and grill in San Francisco. For 15 years, I toiled in the service industry making sure that people’s lofty expectations were met while simultaneously struggling with my own internal “is this it?” soul searching. Eventually I wrote myself out of the industry with my book “What Seems To Be the Problem (a Restaurant Managers Tale)”, but I have since been compelled to inspire other foodies to realize that what you do to keep the lights on does not always define you as a person.

Why then is this a topic being explored here on The Crayon Initiatives blog site?

Well as a representative of TCI, our largest contributor to our goal is the restaurant business. One of the sparks that ignited our plight came from a restaurant table and wondering just where do the sorry, broken and rubbed down nubs of crayons end up after the 10 and unders are done gnawing on them, rubbing them into carpets and dropping them into their ketchup. When we started to peel back the layers of damage to our environment by simply dropping them in the trash at the end of a busy shift, we realized that something had to be done. That call to action resulted in the design and construction of our deposit boxes that could be left at the hostess stand of any restaurant for the deposit and regular gathering of these sad little crayons at the end of their life. By starting here, we knew we could gather enough crayons to recycle into brand new crayons for distribution to Children’s Hospitals all over the Country.

Here is where you the server come in. It has been my experience that at some point in most servers’ career, they start to desire something more fulfilling than delivering food and drinks. On the whole, servers are deeply caring individuals that are really aware of carbon footprints and the deeply rooted desire to please others. Why else would they practice their craft daily? The joy received from delivering a nice night out needs to be harvested and often time duplicated, but how? After all, you’re just a server, right? WRONG!

As far as we are concerned you are our liaison. Next time you go to any restaurant, be it yours or a favorite place to dine, take a quick glance around for one of our collection boxes. If there is not one there, you have just found the answer to “how can I make a difference?”

You can contact us directly to explore the options on how to get The Crayon Initiative involved with your restaurant. Once the unassuming and subtle boxes are posted in a centralized location, you can bring the message to your tables. Let them know that you have been proactive about the concerns with used crayons going into the landfills and are currently collecting them so they can be given new life in the hands of those that need them most. Behind the scenes, we can work out all the details.

Never sell yourself short of the potential that you have and never rest on the laurels that there is nothing you can do. There certainly is a way to make a deep impact and it all starts with you!

Contact us through this website! We can’t wait to find out how together we can make a real difference.