LIVERMORE, CA--(Marketwired - Dec 9, 2015) - UNCLE Credit Union is partnering with The Crayon Initiative in their mission to provide a creative outlet for children suffering from serious illnesses while reducing landfill waste. Founded in 2013, Northern California-based nonprofit The Crayon Initiative is dedicated to collecting discarded crayons and remanufacturing them for use in hospitals that care for kids. To date, The Crayon Initiative has delivered more than 3,000 packs of recycled crayons. Beginning December 14, those wanting to donate their used crayons to the organization can bring them to any UNCLE financial center in Livermore, Pleasanton or Tracy for collection. For a full list of locations, visit

"Although it begins during this season of giving, our partnership with The Crayon Initiative will continue all year long," said UNCLE Credit Union President and CEO Harold Roundtree. "We encourage our members as well as others in the community to donate their unwanted crayons at our locations. It's an easy, convenient way to support environmental efforts and provide joy and inspiration to children during a difficult time."

Currently, The Crayon Initiative supplies recycled crayons to 11 hospitals in Northern California and beyond, including among them UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital San Francisco, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland, and Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA. Unwanted crayons are collected from restaurants, schools and other locations, melted down by color, and remanufactured with a special mold designed by an occupational therapist so that young children and those with special needs can grip them more easily.

Bay Area father Bryan Ware struck on the idea for The Crayon Initiative after an evening out to dinner with his family when he became curious about what happened to the boxes of crayons that were given to children in the restaurant and then left on tables after families finished their meals. He was dismayed to learn that they had to be thrown away -- eventually contributing to the 500,000 pounds of non-biodegradable crayons deposited in landfills throughout the U.S. each year. Having a background in packaging and product design as well as manufacturing processes, he decided to use his expertise to find ways to divert these unwanted crayon materials from landfills while promoting the arts to children.

"Crayons provide an excellent tool for artistic self-expression for hospitalized children. Art not only helps to foster creativity in children but also alleviates their anxiety during this time and enhances their problem-solving as well as critical thinking skills," said Ware. "By teaming up with UNCLE Credit Union this December, we will be able to expand our reach within our local community to collect unwanted crayons and raise awareness about The Crayon Initiative. Beyond crayon collections, our next step is to raise funds for a larger space, equipment, supplies, as well as recruiting more volunteers so that we can continue our mission on a national level."

For more information on The Crayon Initiative, visit

About UNCLE Credit Union
Established in 1957, UNCLE Credit Union is a $300 million, full-service financial institution that proudly serves nearly 22,000 members. With financial centers in Pleasanton, Tracy, and three locations in Livermore, the organization offers the benefits of credit union membership and a full array of financial services to anyone who lives, works, worships, or attends school in Alameda, Contra Costa, San Joaquin, and Stanislaus counties. UNCLE Credit Union is renowned for its community involvement, professional and personalized service, and unwavering commitment to helping members achieve their financial goals. To learn more, visit

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Jennifer Hall