A Colorful Evening

Crayon Collection hosts a “Giant Adult Coloring Party” at Creative Visions Foundations last week. Attendees were encouraged to color in giant coloring books. 

People in Malibu tend to be fairly eco-friendly. They mind their waste, they participate in recycling days at the City of Malibu and they try to keep their footprint on Earth small. But there is one thing people might overlook and toss away without a second thought: used crayons.

Not local mom Sheila Morovati, founder of Los Angeles-based nonprofit Crayon Collection. 

“I initially thought of the idea in 2009 when my daughter was the most pickiest eater,” Morovati shared. “She only wanted to go to one restaurant. By the end of the month, I had 50 crayons from the restaurant.”

Morovati collected crayons that would have otherwise been tossed in the trash each time she dined at the restaurant with her daughter and then donated them to local schools.

“I started using my idea, and testing it out on our preschool and locally,” she explained. “We turned it into a nonprofit in 2013.”

Since then, Crayon Collection has taken off. Morovati recently has partnered with Denny’s, a diner chain that operates over 1,600 locations.

Last Wednesday, Crayon Collection hosted its first-ever “Giant Adult Coloring Party” at the Creative Visions Foundation’s office in Malibu.

Creative Visions Foundation  was founded by Kathy and Amy Eldon to honor the life of Dan Eldon — Kathy’s son and Amy’s brother — a photojournalist who was killed at the age of 22 while on assignment covering conflict in Somalia for Reuters. The nonprofit supports creative activists who use media and the arts to promote positive social change around the globe.

“I thought the event was amazing,” Amy said of last week’s event. “It was so much fun to do with Sheila. We were able to work together. We both have our own nonprofits, so we’re always helping each other out and offering guidance.”

Morovati agreed.

“One of the best parts of the event was working with another nonprofit and having a camaraderie with Creative Visions,” she shared. “Most nonprofits are focused on their own goals, but it felt so welcoming.”

Festivities at the event included a DJ, drinks sponsored by Karma Tequila and works of art by featured artist Ben Marazzi. Those who attended were encouraged to participate in coloring in jumbo coloring books.

“Everyone who walked in that door let themselves be free and let their inner artist come through,” Morovati said. 

“The event brought out the inner child in all of us,” Amy shared. “It reminded us why it’s important to support this hugely important cause.”

Amy shared that she believes schools do not always nurture the artistic side in children and that we as humans “desperately need that creative outlet.”

She compared Sheila to Theodore Roosevelt, explaining that by starting with local schools and organizations, she has done what she can with what she has. 

“I think it’s so beautiful that she’s starting locally here in Los Angeles,” Amy said.

More than $6,000 was raised at last week’s event, and Morovati is not planning on slowing down. She shared that Crayon Collection is growing fast, and they are working hard to raise funds to meet demands and make partnerships with other restaurants. 

And National Crayon Day is coming up on March 31. 

“We are doing the largest crayon drive in the history of crayon drives,” Morovati said. The nonprofit is planning a national crayon drive and bake sale, which will raise funds while collecting crayons to donate. 

After that, there will be a luncheon event at Nobu Malibu. Morovati explained that last year’s event sold out within two days, and this year’s event will be bigger. 

For more information or to donate, email info@crayoncollection.org or visit crayoncollection.org.