As a kid, opening up a fresh box of crayons and using their sharp, brand-new tips to create the latest Picasso had to be one of the best feelings in the world.
Many children do not get that opportunity, an unfortunate fact that Bryan Ware realized as he sat out at dinner one night with his family, according to GoodNewsNetwork.com.
“He was fiddling with a crayon and said, ‘I wonder what happens to these when we leave,’” his wife, Marissa Ware, said.
When Ware found out that 25 to 35 tons of discarded crayons end up in a landfill each year and not in the hands of young, creative minds, he knew he had to make a difference.
The Crayon Initiative, Ware’s nonprofit startup, takes used crayons, boils them down and repurposes them into new boxes for kids in need.
The thicker, triangular-bodied crayons — which now total over 800,000 — are then donated to hospitals, schools and art programs. Ware even partnered with a physical therapist to create the new easy-grip design, which are easier to hold for children with special needs.
Ware has invested about $30,000 into the startup and hopes to one day take it off the ground into a proper production facility.
For now, however, he spends up to 40 hours a week slaving over his kitchen stove, hoping to brighten up the day of even one child.
“We think it’s massive and we’re just scratching the surface of it,” he said.
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