Bryan Ware and his family were leaving a birthday dinner at a restaurant when he noticed that the waiter threw away the crayons his children had been colouring with.
Upon questioning the waiter, he discovered that every crayon put out on diners’ tables had to be thrown away after customers left — whether they’d been used down to a nub or left completely untouched.
And that was the beginning of The Crayon Initiative, a nonprofit organization that repurposes old unusable crayon wax into new crayons and distributes them to children’s hospitals in California.
Ware collects old crayons from restaurants and schools and separates them by color.
Then he melts the wax and molds it into new crayons.
Next, Ware puts the melted wax into a specialised crayon mold, which is large and triangular rather than small and circular.
The unique design was conceived by an occupational therapist to make it easier for small children and kids with special needs to grip the crayons.
The crayons are then boxed and delivered to thousands of very happy children.
So far, The Crayon Initiative has donated more than 2,000 boxes of crayons to children’s hospitals. This month, Ware will make his first out-of-state delivery to a hospital in New York City. He hopes The Crayon Initiative will continue to expand.