Dad finds amazing use for unused restaurant crayons

When Bryan Ware was eating out with his family in 2011, something struck him as he watched his kids scribble on the tablecloth with the crayons which had been provided by the staff.

He wondered what happened to the ones which got left behind. Asking one of the waitresses, he was told that they get thrown away, regardless of how used they were. This struck Ware as a huge waste and he had a brainwave.

He began collecting crayons.

Lots and lots of crayons……

Crayon Initiative

Ware formed The Crayon Initiative in 2013, which is a non-profit organization based in Northern California. According to the official site they have one purpose:

Promoting the arts for children by providing them access to the resources they need. Crayons are a simple concept…colored sticks of wax. The mere smell, feel, and colors of the rainbow take us back to our childhood instantly. Crayons are a building block for childhood creativity. What’s simpler than a carton of crayons and a blank sheet of paper? Yet, with the combination of these 2 materials, the possibilities are endless. We can do anything, go anywhere, or be anyone we want to be: ride a dinosaur through a rainbow desert, launch a rocket ship into outer space, battle a fire-headed, purple monster, draw a family portrait. No matter who you are or where you are, imagination provides the ideas and crayons bring those ideas to life.

Crayon Initiative 3

From the old crayons which they collect, Ware melts them down to create new ones, which he then distributes to children’s hospitals across California.

Crayon Initiative 1

We have to admit, this looks like loads of fun!


According to The Mighty (who are an awesome site who deserve a lot of love for what they do):

So far, The Crayon Initiative has donated more than 2,000 boxes of crayons to children’s hospitals. In September 2015, Ware will make his first out-of-state delivery to a hospital in New York City. He hopes The Crayon Initiative can continue to expand and bring crayons to kids in hospitals all over the country.

Ware also hopes these crayons can help children in hospitals express themselves artistically, continue normal childhood development and communicate through drawing what they may not be able to say verbally. But more than anything, he hopes he can play some part in making their hospital stays a little easier.

“From my perspective, the biggest goal is to give them an escape,” Ware told The Mighty. “I can’t even fathom what these kids are going through. If these crayons give them an escape from that hospital room for ten minutes, we did our job.”

Crayon 1

Make sure to follow The Crayon Initiative on Facebook and Twitter.

Crayon 2


Colin J McCracken

Colin J McCracken is a content designer, editor and writer from Ireland. Giving form and function to the My Good Planet vision, it has been his role to design and develop the online platform, content and presence of the project.

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