Creativity, Crayons & Charity

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Coloring crayons are the norm at many family-friendly restaurants. Children receive them with their menus to draw, color and pass the time while waiting for their food. But have you ever wondered what happens to these crayons once you leave? Hygiene concerns often dictate that crayons placed at tables — whether used or not — are thrown away and destined for landfill. However, the life of a restaurant crayon now has a happy ending, thanks to The Crayon Initiative and CSAA Insurance Group. As a AAA Insurer, CSAA Insurance Group is one of the top property and casualty insurers in the United States and supports The Crayon Initiative’s mission of repurposing unwanted cray – ons. Discarded crayons come from restaurants, businesses and individual donations, and the donated crayons are remanufactured and donated to art therapy programs at children’s hospitals. To date, nearly two thousand CSAA Insurance Group employees have sorted more than 15,000 pounds of crayons.

Established in 2014, The Crayon Initiative is a Northern California-based nonprofit devoted to promoting the arts for children by providing them access to the resources they need. The Crayon Initiative has diverted nearly 750,000 crayons — thousands of pounds — destined for landfill The Crayon Initiative ensures crayons collected in commu – nities are remanufactured and stay in those communities to benefit local children. “The Crayon Initiative is an innovative program with many societal benefits, and we are proud to pro – vide meaningful support,” said Danielle Cagan, vice president of corporate communications and public affairs at CSAA Insurance Group. “In addition to our financial contributions, our employees demonstrate our value of caring for the community by provid – ing significant volunteer hours to support this fantastic program.”

To help The Crayon Initiative expand its reach, CSAA Insurance Group donated $40,000 to fund The Crayon Initiative’s new mobile crayon recycling trailer. The mobile trailer allows The Crayon Initiative to melt, recycle and create new crayons on-the-go. The nonprofit can now travel across the country and, ultimately, increase the number of crayons donated to children in need. “The work we do has a significant impact on our local community, but there is so much more we can do with a travelling workforce and volun – teers from other communities,” said Bryan Ware, founder of The Crayon Initiative. “The mobile crayon recycling trailer that CSAA Insurance Group funded will advance our mission to ensure that children have the tools they need to enjoy the healthful benefits of art and creativity, while also reducing waste in landfills.” to be continued…

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