Helena student collects more than 43,000 crayons for Children’s Hospital this Christmas

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

HELENA – Helena Intermediate School 5th grader Monroe Bouler may only be 10-years-old, but she is setting an example that anyone, regardless of age, can make a huge impact on a community through acts of kindness and giving.

This summer, Bouler started a fundraiser called “Crayons for a Cure” and in just a few short months, she has collected more than 43,000 boxes of crayons that will be sent to Children’s Hospital for patients and their families to use.

The idea started when Bouler told her friends that she didn’t want presents for her birthday on Aug. 8.

“For my birthday party, instead of my friends bringing me gifts and presents, I asked them to give me money instead to donate to Children’s Hospital,” Bouler said. “When we went, the lady showing us around asked how we were going to donate and gave me a fact sheet and it told me some facts. One of those facts was how many crayons they use per year and each week. On the ride home, I came up with the idea to collect crayons.”

Since August, Bouler set up numerous drop-off locations at area businesses around Helena and at the elementary school, intermediate school and middle school for people to bring crayons to participate. She also set up a Venmo account called “Crayons4acure” to allow people to give donations for the cause.

Bouler made a trip to Helena Elementary School on Tuesday, Dec. 17 to talk about the fundraiser to students in Wendy Woods’ second grade class.

Woods said Bouler graduated from Helena Elementary School and her act of kindness was a prime example of the impact one person can have on others.

“With us doing all the Leader in Me stuff, it just went right along with it and we just talked with our kids about how one person can make a difference,” Woods said. “It’s a good life lesson, and it’s something for the students to see that you can make an impact.”

Bouler said Children’s Hospital of Alabama goes through more than 4,000 crayons per week and nearly 208,000 crayons per year. With her fundraiser, she is going to help the hospital keep up with the high demand of replacing the crayons.

The plan now is for Bouler to gather all the crayons and donate them around Christmas Eve so children at the hospital will have brand new supplies for Christmas.