When dad Bryan Ware saw a restaurant throwing out the used crayons they had given out to kids, he knew there had to be some use for those worn out crayons. That’s when he came up with a brilliant idea.

“They said they had to throw them away after it’s been on the table,” Bryan said. “So that to me was just kind of a spark; there’s got to be something we could do with them.”

Bryan started The Crayon Initiative as a way to reuse those old crayons and help children in need. He and the hundreds of volunteers who now help him sort the discarded crayons by color. Bryan then melts them down and makes new crayons that he gives to children in hospitals for free.

The crayons give these kids an opportunity to escape from the scary and painful situations they are in. When asked what she thinks about when she is coloring, 11-year-old Jaden Hendricks said, “Nothing. That’s exactly why I color. Your brain’s just shut off and you color.”

Bryan now collects 500 pounds of used crayons from schools and restaurants each week, creating thousands of new crayons right in his own kitchen. It’s a lot of work, but the reward is far greater.

“It provides [those kids] the ability to be whatever they want to be. Dream whatever they want to be,” Bryan said. “That right there is why we do this.”

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