Crayon Collection Aided By Palisades and Malibu Wells Fargo Bank Branches

By Sue Pascoe

Sheila Michail Morovati took her children to restaurants, and loved the idea that they were given crayons to keep them busy, but was also upset when she watched the restaurant staff throw away the barely-used colors.

In 2011, Morovati began the nonprofit Crayon Collection with the goal of repurposing crayons, keeping them out of landfills and getting them into the hands of kids who needed them.

Members of the Malibu Boys and Girls Club learned about the Crayon Collection.
Members of the Malibu Boys and Girls Club learned about the Crayon Collection.

“There’s so much talk of the environment, climate change, budget cuts in education, teachers paying for supplies out of their own pocket,” said Morovati, a Brentwood resident. “I fused it all together and realized I had to do something.”

Her goal was to come up with an easy model that could be replicated anywhere to collect gently-used crayons. A simple cardboard box with a carrying handle is used to collect upwards of 1,000 crayons.

The first restaurant to participate was Café Vida on Antioch, and the collection kits can now be found in cities across the country, heavily concentrated in California, Arizona and Nevada—but also Hawaii.

In early March, Morovati told the News, “We were so grateful to have several Wells Fargo branches participate by collecting crayons from the local community during November and December. All the Malibu Wells Fargo branches participated, as well as the Pacific Palisades branch.”

The collection, totaling about 8,000 new and gently-used crayons, was donated to the Boys and Girls Club in Malibu. Palisades Wells Fargo Branch Manager Nick Grandchamp joined Morovati in presenting the crayons.

The Boys and Girls Club will continue to receive crayons after these are used up, because a Crayon Collection box will be placed in the main office of Juan Cabrillo, an adjacent elementary school. That will become the main donation point for crayons that will ultimately come to the club.

“The children were so excited about our program and said they were eager to participate by picking up the crayons they receive when they dine out,” said Morovati, who also discussed environmentalism with the students and thinking “outside the box” in terms of recycling.

“My personal goal is to inspire kids to collect crayons today, but parlay this experience to be more eco-minded as they become young adults.

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