The Crayon Initiative – a picture perfect idea helping sick kids get creative

Those annoying broken bits of crayon that gather at the bottom of the kids’ pencil cases may not be as useless as you think. There’s a brilliant organisation gathering all of these colourful wax stick bits to recycle into crayons for sick kids in hospitals. 

That waxy smell of crayons is enough to take most of us back to our childhoods. Simple stick drawings, houses with chimneys and rainbows. But did you know that once those crayons are tossed in the bin, they don’t just disappear. The wax will never break down, creating yet another environmental impost on landfill. And there are plenty of kids out there without access to art, who would love the chance to get creative with crayons.


Californian non-profit organisation The Crayon Initiative is tackling both issues, by collecting unwanted crayons from places like restaurants and schools, recycling them and then donating them to hospitals.


Dad Bryan Ware came up with the idea after celebrating his birthday at a restaurant. After the waiter gave his sons some crayons to keep them occupied, he found out that once the kids were done, the crayons would be thrown out. Thus The Crayon Initiative was born.


The organisation says art in hospitals programs help kids continue some semblance of normal life, by allowing them to develop the skills they would be learning in school.


While The Crayon Initiative is based in the US, you can make cash donations to help with crayon collection and distribution costs.

The organisation says this is just the beginning, with plans to expand its program beyond crayons to continue giving kids opportunities to express themselves through art.

Meanwhile, if you know of anywhere in Australia that accepts crayons for recycling, drop us a line and let us know.

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