Can Crayons change the world?


My love affair with crayons didn’t begin when I began distributing them through the Assistance League Auxiliary of Salem.  It started long before.
I grew up in Anchorage, Alaska, but my grandparents lived outside of Portland, Oregon. I would get a new box of crayons and a coloring book before every flight. This was back when Alaska Airlines provided children with flight wings, cards and endless soda. I would settle into my seat, properly buckle my seatbelt and then coordinate the colors so I could properly pink Piglet.
I have opinions on these things.  For example, I believe that Crayola should only sell crayons in the box of 64 with the sharpener in the back. Never mind that I never, ever use the sharpener. I like the idea of the sharpener.
In 1999 a coworker asked me if I would like to join the Assistance League Auxiliary of Salem.  She informed me that the organization provided school supplies to the children of Salem-Keizer School District. I was riding the fence until she announced that the group distributed crayons.
My son likes to own crayons but prefers to draw with a number two Ticonderoga pencil. He is very serious about his drawings and his images are similar to those in Diary of a Wimpy Kid.  He likes the idea of crayons, but he stores them in an open container. This means my precious pink crayons are scattered everywhere.
Last fall, my son took a class at the Kroc Center. I escaped in the art studio and drew trees. I had to fight the urge to color coordinate their crayon tubs.   I knew the crayons would not stay organized. Motherhood teaches you these things.
I still don’t understand why Crayola has created so many varieties of markers and pencils. They even have a washable pad so you can wipe away your art. I signed and dated each of my works of art. I even sent one home to my mom to hang on the original Metropolitan Museum of Art. I’m talking about her old school white refrigerator with a magnetic front.
I can’t explain my love of crayons or why I still write Santa a letter to ask him for a box of 64 crayons.  But I like to think that my unwavering love of crayons has helped a lot of Salem-Keizer school children in the last fourteen years.
If you would like to learn more about the Assistance League Auxiliary of Salem visit   Start your own journey.

Rebekah Willhite is an aspiring Salem author in the midst of editing her first novel. She can be reached at

One Comment

  1. Mg Atwood says:

    Great article. We are a small but dynamic group. The love of children and helping them is our common thread. Bravo Becky!


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