Boxes of crayons piled high in the Steinbrenner High School Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) room, peeled and ready to be sent off to be melted into new crayons for hospitalized children. As of Oct. fourth, the DECA crayon drive had come to an end, yet the process was yet to be finished. In order to reach the very end of the event, it needs to start from the very beginning.
The original idea began with an event called the Crayon Initiative, started by a group that takes discarded crayons from multiple sources, melts them down into new crayons, and sends them out to children’s hospitals; not only bringing joy to those hospitalized with an easier grip for the children to hold onto, but also reducing waste. On Sep. ninth, Steinbrenner DECA Juniors Emerson Angel, Alejandro Perez, and Jake Caswell were quick to volunteer to run the drive for their first time, seeing an opportunity to give back to the community.
“We have a project for DECA called Community Giving, so we wanted to find a way to represent the Crayon Drive event while also getting others involved in something that they’d want to do,” said Angel.
Working together, the team of three were able to quickly spread the word to those around them. Posters and flyers were hung in the hallways to notify teachers and students alike of the ongoing event. However, Steinbrenner students weren’t the only ones being promoted to. Being in charge of communications, Angel went on to talk about the other sources they work with.
“I actually work at Paninis and we have children that come in and draw, and when they leave, we take the crayons they don’t use or the crayons they break and we bring them back here,” said Angel.
Collecting the crayons from different locations also allowed the news of what the event was about, to spread to those other than students, one of their main goals for the project.
Ending up with nine full boxes and more on the way from McKitrick Elementary, it was obvious that the drive had been more than successful. When asked if they would be interested in running the drive again next year, all three students excitedly explained how they would most definitely be looking forward to running it once more.
“Next year, I think we should try to get more restaurants involved and maybe have Martinez donate as well,” said Angel.
The three agreed, already discussing their plans for the next year. The Crayon Drive being a fun way to give back to the community, is easily accessible and can be done by anyone and everyone.
If you are interested in donating crayons for the cause, click on this link here and you’ll be taken to the page: https://thecrayoninitiative.org/
Gianna DeMalteris // Staff Writer