Monday, July 9, 2018

Crazy for Cra-Z-Art

Yikes! Our packing party is just a little over two months away and the amount of work still to be completed before that weekend is astounding.  Makes me glad our sovereign God is in control of all of this.

We were blessed this year when the back-to-school prices on crayons hit the stores the week after school ended.  For once I was excited to see the stores "rushing the season"!  For a number of years now we've used the Cra-Z-Art brand that are priced at .24 a pack at back-to-school prices.  I'd prefer Crayola, but the Cra-Z-Art are adequate and allow us to bless twice as many children.

Our amazing Walmart manager, Charles, ordered the crayons for us and 12,000 boxes (250 cartons of 48 boxes each) were ready to be picked up last Monday without a hitch.

I was blessed with my husband and our friend Myron to help transport them and grateful for the Walmart employees who helped with the loading.

We completely filled three vehicles and thanked God for keeping the rain from falling until we had all the cartons moved to the storage container.

That evening four team members gathered to get a start on dividing the boxes of 24 crayons into three bags of 8 crayons each.  It's tedious work but by giving each child a nice pack of 8 crayons instead of an entire pack of 24 we are able to bless more children.

My husband, Jim, and I spent quite a few hours this past weekend getting 10 cases of crayons put into bags.  To keep the crayons from rolling around in the piles I used three empty opened boxes to sort the three piles.

I discovered it goes faster for me if I sort them pretty much the same way every time.  First put a dark crayon (there are 2 blacks and 1 brown) into each pile.  Then each pile gets one blue, then one green, then one orange.  There are two purples and one purplish red in the next round and then two red and a purplish red in the next (done in the opposite order so the purplish red ones don't end up in the same pile.)  The next round has a light crayon in each pile (while, beige, or yellow) and the last has a light green and two pinks.

After they're sorted, I push the boxes over to my husband who bags them while I take three empty boxes and sort the next one.  Then we trade boxes again.

The system let us move pretty quickly, but I found my shoulder muscles got tense and painful.  Even stretching wouldn't relax them.  I needed to find a more ergonomic position.

I tried sitting on a pillow for a while, but it was awkward. I tried a stool, but it was too high.  I know, this is sounding like a Goldilocks story.

Finally I settled on standing but needed to get a surface that was waist level so I put two boxes on the table to make it the right height.  Hey, whatever works.

So far we're up to 13 cases sorted and bagged.

We have a work day coming up on July 18th.  Pray we get lots of volunteers...

Because this is really crazy!


  1. I 100% understand. I was blessed to get 17,280 crayons (in 48 ct containers) for $100. So first I divide them into two sets of 24, pull 8 out for pencil packs then 2 20 counts for my own boxes. I have 4 1/2 cases left to sort. Shoulders are killing me but I did watch a lot of tv this weekend; it was a nice break. Best of luck with your packing party.

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