Crayons 4 Kids helps brighten, color heart of Detroit

By Mitch Albom, (@MitchAlbom)
Troy A. Blevins, Online Editor, Producer (@troyblevins)
Published On: Mar 20 2014 05:45:00 PM EDT
Updated On: Mar 21 2014 12:45:55 PM EDT

Susie Fenster is doing a new twist on take-out. She comes to restaurants with a plastic bin and leaves with crayons.

DETROIT -

Susie Fenster is doing a new twist on take-out. She comes to restaurants with a plastic bin and leaves with crayons.

"We were eating dinner at a family chain restaurant and after we were done eating, the bus boy was clearing the crayons and putting them right in the garbage, and it shocked me," said Fenster.

Susie learned that for sanitary reasons, the restaurant couldn't re-use the crayons, but others could. So she started bringing them home, and giving them to schools. She formed Crayons 4 Kids.

"I partnered with an organization called Operation Kid Equip that supplies up school supplies and materials for most of the children living in homelessness," said Fenster.

The idea has caught on big.

"Crayons 4 Kids' ultimate goal would be to collect 1 million crayons," said Fenster.

"All in your house?" asked Mitch Albom.

"All in my house...no I don't think I have room for a million," said Fenster.

Even broken crayons are melted down and turned into new ones.

"We donated the crayons to a Detroit public school and elementary school. I've dropped them off at Ronald McDonald House and a local women's shelter," said Fenster. "Now I have restaurant managers calling me. I envision every restaurant in the United States collecting. I'm hoping."

"Are you becoming known around your neighborhood as the crayon lady?" asked Albom.

"The crayon lady. I think I might be," Fenster said, laughing.

A simple idea changes garbage into a rainbow -- Fenster's Crayons 4 Kids is helping to brighten and color the heart of Detroit.

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