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.

Three Reasons Why Crayons

 

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When we are young, we have two criteria when daydreaming about the future. What is going to make us happy and how am I going to change the world? As we get older, the lofty utopian visions get pushed aside for a more “practical” approach, and we get launched into our “how can we provide” or “how can we make ends meet” mode of survival. The world doesn’t seem to support professional cowboys and we can’t all be President of the United States, but the few people that realize those childhood dreams as reality certainly experience rewards deeper than those of the status quo.

 

This then makes finding crayons as our answer that much more interesting. Certainly we couldn’t teach a class on how to find wax sticks of color as the answer to both questions posed as an unassuming youth, but that is exactly what happened.

 

Here then are three reasons why crayons are the perfect vehicle to support happiness and world-changing philanthropy.

 

They Were the Exact Tools We Used to Realize Our Dreams

 

All of us have sat somewhere as a child and had the thought that “I want to fly to the moon” or “I am going to rope and ride broncos on the open plain”. When I was personally faced with those determined goals, I can tell you that smashing open my piggy bank was not going to finance a small plot of land that I could work in Montana, let alone a small down payment on a new pair of boots, and no amount of extra chores were going to get me closer to the assumed lofty price tag of rocket fuel, let alone a ship to put it in. So what then was I to do in order to feed my hunger for adventure? I grabbed my crayons of course. Within moments, I was the wild plains drifter fighting cattle rustlers in big black hats and fully equipped head-to-toe in NASA approved equipment on a solo mission around the moon, and I’ll tell you what you already know, these images appeased my hunger and allowed me to be the person I wanted to be, even if only for a moment.

I love the scene from Billy Madison when he has to go back to school as an adult and complete each grade starting with Kindergarten. The determining factor of his graduating to the first grade is when he explains “I drew a duck and colored him blue because I have never seen a blue duck and I wanted to”. A+ Billy!

 

The Emotional Appeal is Textile

 

Naturally things change as we hurl ourselves through time, space and childhood, and as we reach adulthood, things change at an even faster pace. Everything from the neighborhood I grew up in is now a strip mall to the pastry I loved from Starbucks has been discontinued. Everything on every level changes with or without our permission. Crayons have not changed!

The feeling of infinite possibilities, when you open a fresh box of new crayons, as the myriad of color triggers allow us to feel invincible. The feeling of the waxy paper between your fingers and the odd sense of accomplishment when you are forced to tear a little paper off to expose more crayon to work with. The smell of a collection of crayons be they in a box, cup or a Tupperware container, can hit you in your senses from 100 yards out. Any one of these factors will (not just can) trigger every dream you ever had as a child and the act of making them a reality on paper.

 

Our Earth Doesn’t Need Them Like We Do

 

Inspiring children to create and giving them the tools to do so could have been enough of a reason to move forward with our vision, but the responsible adult needed a say in the matter as well. On this platform, we realized that as wonderfully simple and unchanged as the crayon is, they really have no place in our landfills. This is exactly what a responsible adult should realize and want to do something about. Millions of crayons are manufactured every year and millions of crayons run out of paper to tear and are discarded into regular trash receptacles. Wax is not a substance that breaks down over time. We love crayons for the fact that they do not change, but the adverse effect is in the wrong place (our earth) they still don’t change, for centuries they just get pushed around and offer no valuable source back to the planet. The bottom line is they should just stay crayons in use, recycled again and again…This is what we do!

 

After taking into consideration all of the factors above, and crafting a viable plan to make a difference, we have launched The Crayon Initiative to keep these sticks of nostalgia and creativity out of our landfills and in the hands to the people that can do the most with them. The kids that take them and without a nickel invested make their dreams a reality! This is exactly how we stay happy and change the world.