Scouts collect crayons for children

Published 10:01 pm Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Suffolk Girl Scouts are helping children locally and throughout the country with used crayons.

Suffolk Girl Scout Troop 330 is coordinating with other troops, schools and restaurants to support The Crayon Initiative, an organization that recycles used and unwanted crayons. These crayons are then donated to schools, hospitals, arts programs and other children’s organizations.

Troop leader Kellie Baldwin was contacted about the organization by Northern Shores Elementary School art teacher Janette Belote. Baldwin’s 10-year-old daughter, Kya, is part of the talented art program there.

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Belote told Baldwin about her interest in donating used crayons she had been collecting at the school for weeks.

“I’m always looking for good things to do with the girls for community-service projects,” Baldwin said. “I was looking for a chance to get involved with it, and this was a really good opportunity to do that.”

The scouts have collected three boxes of crayons totaling at about 80 pounds. These will be shipped to the Crayon Initiative headquarters in California in the next two weeks, where they will be melted, reshaped and repackaged.

Pediatric patients at Virginia hospitals will be among those who receive the newly formed crayons, including patients at Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Norfolk.

Baldwin said this is a way for families to give back to the hospitals where their children have received care.

“A lot of kids — when they’re in the hospital, they don’t have a lot to look forward to, so if we can help them pass the time and help them use art as either entertainment or in a therapeutic way, we want to support that,” she said.

The troop will continue to accept crayon donations for the organization. Fliers and social media posts advertise collection boxes throughout Suffolk, including schools and local restaurants.

“It’s a community-wide thing that we’re trying to do,” Baldwin said.

Call 969-8450 for more information.