Emily Skopov Founder of the nonprofit “No Crayon Left Behind”

 

By: Paula Green

           Emily Skopov’s “No Crayon Left Behind” nonprofit has been a colorful asset to the community, both locally and abroad.   It all began five years ago, when Skopov was celebrating her son’s 7th birthday at the Red Robin restaurant in Cranberry Twp.  He didn’t use the complimentary crayons. Out of curiosity, Skopov asked the waiter, “What happens to these crayons afterwards?”   He told her that they’re all thrown away.  It doesn’t matter if the crayons are used or worse yet unused – they are discarded.  Skopov was shocked and appalled at his answer, as suddenly the enormity of the waste hit her.  Why throw out essentially brand new crayons that would only clutter-up our land-fills?  These crayons could be put to good use.

With this in mind, Skopov asked various restaurants if they would start collecting discarded crayons and she would find them a new home with children who otherwise could not afford them.  Skopov gathered up piles of crayons from various establishments and before she knew it, the collection drive transformed into the vibrant nonprofit “No Crayon Left Behind.”

“After I gathered the crayons, I sorted them and then I donated them to homeless shelters, Christian missions, daycares, and preschools in economically depressed neighborhoods.  Once I introduced this onto social media the demand really soared and things took off,” Skopov noted.

Currently there are 121 restaurants that donate their gently used crayons to NCLB.  These recycled treasures are distributed to various needy organizations.  Initially, the crayons were allocated throughout the Pittsburgh region, but now they’re also sent all over the U.S. and globally to Morocco, Uganda, Mexico and other impoverished regions. To date, NCLB has gifted over one million crayons.

“We have really grown with No Crayon Left Behind.  We have an office on Hegner Way in Sewickley and I have two part-time employees whose help has been invaluable during this rapid expansion.  We do accept crayon donations, but our more urgent need is monetary donations and we are also looking for corporate sponsors.  It is very costly to send hundreds of pounds of crayons overseas.  For corporate sponsorship, we are also looking for partners who are willing to take the crayons overseas.  Currently, we are fortunate that we work with World Vision and The Education Partnership, but more help would definitely be welcomed,” Skopov added.

In addition to running “No Crayon Left Behind,” Skopov is also a screenwriter, producer and director.  She resides in Marshall Township with her husband, son and daughter.

For more information on No Crayon Left Behind, or to make a donation (Skopov says any amount would be greatly appreciated), be sure to visit their website at, www.nocrayonleftbehind.org or email info@nocrayonleftbehind.org.  You can find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NoCrayonLeft/ or on Twitter at @NoCrayon1.