FFA Lifestyle

Illinois FFA Crayon Initiative to bring joy to nearly 70K patients

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The Illinois FFA Association recently proved that if you ask, you shall receive — sometimes six times more. And now children’s hospitals across the United States will be getting a little brighter thanks to the association’s generous donation to the Crayon Initiative.

“Our goal was to raise 2,000 pounds of crayons and we exceeded our goal and collected a final total of 13,387 pounds!” said Chase Clausen, Illinois FFA State Treasurer said.

For this year’s state service project at the Illinois FFA state convention, the FFA officer team decided to partner with the Crayon Initiative, a national non-profit out of California, that collects donated crayons from restaurants, schools, and homes across the country, melts them down, and then remanufactures them. The recycled crayons are then distributed to art programs at children’s hospitals across the U.S., brightening the lives of young patients during their stay.

In 2017, the Crayon Initiative packaged and shipped over 37,000 packs of crayons to Child Life programs in children’s hospitals across the country. This year the organization is on track to package 250,000.

And now thanks to the Illinois FFA’s efforts, the Crayon Initiative will be able to bring 66,935 more packs to young patients across the U.S.

“There were many chapters that went above and beyond,” Clausen said. “Many collecting well over 500 pounds each! It was an amazing project that our chapters took full commitment to.”

While there are no plans at the time to do the Crayon Initiative again at the state level, Clausen said a chapter could easily pick up the program at the local level.

As for other state FFA associations considering the Crayon Imitative as a service project, Clausen suggests over planning for the number of crayons you could collect.

“Luckily, we planned to send 13,500 pounds of crayons if we needed to,” Clausen said.

And the feedback Illinois FFA has received from chapters that participated has been overwhelmingly positive.

“It was amazing to see how our chapters took pride in making a difference in the lives of children in need,” Clausen said.

Tags: FFA Service Projects, Recycled Crayons, Used Crayons
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