Palisades-Based Crayon Collection Organizes World’s Largest Kindness Event
By LILY TINOCO | Reporter
Highlands resident and founder of Crayon Collection Sheila Morovati coordinated the “World’s Largest Kindness Event” on Saturday, August 15.
Crayon Collection is an environmental and art-education nonprofit that creates art programming for and provides supplies to underserved children.
Morovati shared that she launched Crayon Collection after realizing that the free crayons restaurants would provide to children were being tossed afterward—used or not. At the same time, teachers were struggling to provide classroom supplies, she said.
“Initially it was an environmental concern,” Morovati said to the Palisadian-Post. “I was trying very hard to create an opportunity so that we could funnel those crayons to schools.”
And that she did. She worked toward pairing restaurants and schools within five miles of each other, leaving restaurants in charge of collecting the crayons and the schools in charge of going and picking them up.
“It was a win-win for education as well as the planet,” Morovati said.
The organization set its first Guinness World Record for the most crayons donated in history on August 11, 2018.
This year’s event was a virtual gathering, live streamed on YouTube, where Morovati was joined by special guests—all working together to set Crayon Collection’s second Guinness World Record for the most handwritten notes uploaded to Instagram in one hour.
Crayon Collection invited participants to upload a handwritten note on Saturday between 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. signed with their name “to send to people all over the country working to keep us safe, healthy and connected.”
“It’s a very exciting way to get people to do good and give back,” Morovati said about the Guinness World Record attempt. “It was amazing to see how people enjoyed this act of kindness.”
She said participants got creative—somebody posted a kindness note on a banana and another shared a note using chalk on the sidewalk. All the posts can be found with #CrayonCollection.
Morovati added that the event was inspired by the passing of Dr. Lorna Breen, medical director of New York-Presbyterian Allen Hospital’s emergency department, who took her own life in April after treating an influx of COVID-19 patients.
“I called the hospital where she worked and spoke to their public relations department, asking if there was anything we as the general public could do to support our frontline heroes,” Morovati shared in a statement. “The woman from the hospital explained that hospital wards are often decorated with notes of gratitude from former patients, and that these kind notes offer a sense of uplifting solace and inspiration during the many difficult hours endured by medical workers.”
Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation served as a special guest to the event. Morovati said she was proud to have Breen’s family at the event and to have their participation.
Additional guests included Mayor Eric Garcetti, Dr. Nina Shapiro, Oliver Jeffers, Joe Whale and Drew Daywalt.
“I think the event went beautifully, we had such massive corporate partners who made it so wonderful … it was the most professional, well-done, seamless event and that was so meaningful and inspiring,” Morovati said.
The event received support from Mattel Inc., Penguin Random House, Thrive Global, Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation, the City of Los Angeles’ Mayor’s Office and California Governor Gavin Newsom’s office.
Morovati added that people from 15 countries registered for it, making it a true global effort.
“It was a very strong event, it was one of the most proud feelings I’ve ever had for my charity to do something so positive,” she said.
Morovati said there is a minor issue with the count in the works, and she is currently working with Guinness and Instagram. There may be a second attempt in the future to collect a more accurate count.
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