Who We Are
More than a half-million pounds of crayons are discarded every year, turning into a waxy sludge that clogs our landfills and never biodegrades.
The Crayon Initiative collects donated crayons from restaurants, schools and homes across the country, then melts them down and remanufactures them, reducing waste.
Better yet, the recycled crayons are distributed to art programs at children’s hospitals across the U.S., brightening the lives of young patients during their stay.
Watch Us Grow
Happier kids, and a cleaner Earth… supporting The Crayon Initiative helps two great causes in one. No wonder our efforts have caught the eye of The Today Show, People, BuzzFeed, Mashable, The Huffington Post and Good Housekeeping.
Consider this: A box containing 25 pounds of used crayons can yield enough raw materials to supply 125 hospitalized children with new eight-packs of crayons. Larger collection efforts can bring in as many as 200 pounds of crayons, enough to spread joy and color to over 1,000 kids!
To learn more about our process and how we’re making a difference, watch this video – and see why everyone is talking about us!
Thank you to our friends at ImageThink for the illustrated video.
How Crayons Help Heal
When children are hospitalized, it’s important for their well-being and development to maintain a sense of normalcy throughout their stay. Art programs do just that by providing young patients with a creative outlet to express themselves, while at the same time helping alleviate anxiety. Children’s arts programs enhance problem-solving and critical thinking skills, and also promote creativity and imagination. When the patients at our partner hospitals finally get to go home, they often take our crayons with them because they represent a happy memory during an otherwise uncertain time.
Patients Donated to
“Our daughter was in many local hospitals, including John Muir and UCSF, for many years battling cancer. We were so happy when treasures such as yours were shared with her as it offered a bright light in the days filled with doctors and meds. So thank you from a parent that knows what a blessing fresh crayons can be!”
“Love your program! I’m an elementary teacher and my school collects crayons for your initiative. Last year my son was hospitalized and when they brought him some activities to keep his mind off all of the tubes they also gave us a pack of your crayons! Loved seeing it come full-circle and they really do make a difference! Thank you!”
“The Crayon Initiative has been an amazing program for our patients and families. We are so fortunate to share their crayons in our outpatient clinic. Patients and siblings love being able to color throughout their healthcare visit!”
“Thank you for this program I have seen the POSITIVE effects; my niece had heart surgery at age 4 and the hospital had some of your crayons and I felt motivated to do MORE…..THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR LABOR OF LOVE! 😊”
“I've followed you from nearly the beginning. Big fan of A.C. Moore too! My grandson ended up at Milton S. Hershey Medical Center for an emergency. When I went to see him, one of your Crayon Initiative box of crayons were there and already put to use, as he waited for more tests and hadn't been allowed to eat for hours. The crayons helped keep him distracted. I was excited to see the distinctive packaging and explained to my son and grandson, where they come from and how it all started. Thank you, A.C. Moore and all your supporters! I hope they understand that such a simple thing as crayons, provides happiness, familiarity, and comfort to children in some scary uncertain times! And the photo I included shows part of what he had been coloring. When I saw that box, it was such a wow moment. To see the reality of your program intersect with our family emergency. It was sweet to see it in action for my grandson. Something so simple was a big help in keeping him calm and occupied while waiting for too many hours without being able to eat, for more tests. It was frustrating. Bryan Ware had an idea, and here we are a few years later, benefiting from that! Many thanks from our family!”
“My 3 yr old son received a pack of these crayons after his open heart surgery and we love them. I love this company, both as a mother of a child who has been in the hospital and from an environmental standpoint as well. Thank you Crayon initiative!”
“Thank you for delivering us a shipment of crayons. We appreciate this kind donation. They are used throughout the hospital where children are being cared for. We love the size of the crayons. Finally, a crayon that doesn't break when you use it! Your gift to the children will bring joy and comfort to their stay. We are deeply grateful for your help in giving the children treated her at UR Medicine's Golisano Children's Hospital more reasons to smile.”
“On behalf of St. Mary’s Hospital for Children, I want to say thank you for your wonderful crayon donation in which these remarkable children have been using during our art program in the classroom. We appreciate these crayons because they have a big grip which is easier for the child to grasp or have hand over hand assistance.”
“We one of the lucky recipients. The quality and size of the crayons make for some adventurous coloring!!! Thank you!”
“Thank you for your thoughtful donation of crayons to the Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy Program. Crayons are always a high-need item and are universally used throughout our facility. The crayons you provided allow our patients to express themselves and fill their world with color. Your gifts help to normalize the hospital environment for our children.”
“I can’t thank you enough for your generosity and including us in your mission to help keep pediatric patients distracted and providing normalcy in their lives while admitted to the hospital. This is definitely a huge help for us as we rely solely on monetary and tangible donations to provide even better service to our patients and families. You will definitely bring many smiles to many sweet faces.”
“Having a sister who was constantly in the children's hospital between birth and 18 for cerebral palsy, it was always nice to see those kids actually smile. You're achieving a lot of greatness one crayon at a time”
“On behalf of the patients and families of The Children's Hospital of San Antonio, thank you so much for the donation of crayons! They truly brightened our families' day! The generosity and thoughtfulness of people like you help us create a caring atmosphere for our patients while they are away from home. We are so appreciative that you thought of our patients and we are very blessed to have your support!”
“Thank you so much for the crayons that you donated to the Children's Hospital of Georgia. We really appreciate you thinking of the patients and families here and helping us make the hospital more fun! Thanks again for your generosity!”
"I was so grateful to be able to donate our toolbox full of crayons for such a worthy cause. I thought you were doing me a favor, as I am cleaning out my (now grown) children's art supplies. You, however, gave ME a blessing by doing such a wonderful thing -- both for the environment, and for the children."
“The size and shape of the crayons from Crayon Initiative are perfect! They work especially well for my toddler patients and patients with special needs. These patients can have limitations with their fine motor skills and benefit so much from their easy grip design. I am very grateful to be able to adapt an activity as simple as coloring, to fit the needs of my patients.”
“Our parents love the crayons, too! Having their child engaged in an activity gives the parents time to speak to the doctors and update family members.”
“Our patients in the ER absolutely love the crayons! When they arrive in a new and scary environment, it is so comforting for them to color in a familiar character, or create a picture. They have something positive to focus on, rather than their pain and anxiety.”
“We started receiving your amazing crayons and they are perfect for the hospital setting! Individually packed, sturdy and colorful recycled crayons are an amazing gift to share with our families! Thanks for all the effort, coordination and creativity. Keep making the world more colorful and playful”
“… thank you so much! We just received our first donation of crayons from you all and are SO impressed by the quality of them from the packaging to the paper-less crayons themselves.”
“My 5 year old recently visited the Stanford Hospital Emergency Room and she was supplied with Crayon Initiative crayons. It made a big difference in her outlook and attitude - so wanted to send a note of thanks and appreciation for the work you are doing!”
“The crayons you sent us will be used in various areas at the St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital and will help ease families as they anticipate various procedures. Coloring offers an outlet for kids to express themselves and we have found the crayons to be readily received. Families are thankful for this simple child-friendly activity and the children are always excited when they are told they can keep them.”
“This donation helps us in providing different activities for our littlest patients and encouraging them to escape in their special masterpieces.”
“Thank you for doing something that allows kids to recognize how their actions can affect our environment....”
“As an art therapist, it is wonderful to know that people value the healing power that comes through creation and recognize its benefit towards wellness and recovery.”
“We recently received the donation of crayons from your organization. We truly appreciate this donation and appreciate that they are recycled. The triangular shape is especially helpful for our younger patients and those facing fine motor challenges.”
“We received our crayons last week and we LOVE them! These are amazing - as you can imagine - 8 packs, without wrappers/paper, and the shape are so perfect.”