Encouraging the Heart - one child at a time

Encouraging the Heart - one child at a time

Tips and Techniques

Crayons to Computers, a Cincinnati-based nonprofit, has been serving the needs of underprivileged kids and deserving teachers for over 20 years. Through its Teacher Free Store and Mobile Outreach programs, this great organization bridges the gap for students and schools by providing them with the supplies and educational tools they need to succeed in the classroom … and in life.

But, the staff realized that one thing was missing from the equation … encouragement. And in early 2017, Crayons to Computers launched a new initiative, the #MyWishForYou Campaign.

“My passion for this campaign is simple,” Stephen Bernstein, Director of Marketing & Communications said. “I’ve seen, first-hand, the gratitude that these kids have for the supplies they receive from Crayons to Computers. One day, specifically, I was brought to tears when a line of 1st Graders approached me with handfuls of pencils, rulers, and the like to thank me for the supplies. They weren’t instructed to do so by their teacher; it was their natural instinct—a reaction that was so raw and pure. It is that experience that served as the spark for the #MyWishForYou Campaign. It is a way to give back to all of those students who give such encouragement to us. If we can help shape their minds with tools and encouragement, then we have done our duty to the next generation of achievers.”

In addition to providing students with vital supplies, Crayons to Computers’ #MyWishForYou Campaign engages the community in a note writing campaign to help fuel and inspire the hearts and minds of those they serve. The goal is to fill 37,000 backpacks with these special notes of encouragement, to be distributed through the Teacher Free Store and Mobile Outreach Program throughout the 2017-18 school year.

The #MyWishForYou cards no doubt bring plenty of smiles, inspiration and, perhaps, a tear or two. For some students, it may be the only encouragement they’ve received in a long while. And although it is too early to tell what the long-term impact will be, I predict that this generous and encouraging initiative is already leaving a lasting impression on many of our community’s young people… one card at a time.

Crayons to Computers is going the extra mile by giving out more than just supplies. They are giving hope. And they are demonstrating that encouraging the hearts of others truly can happen anywhere—in the classroom, boardroom, team meetings, and yes, even in a backpack. It is never too early or too late to practice Encouraging the Heart.


Valarie Willis
is a Certified Master of The Leadership Challenge® and principal of Valarie Willis Consulting, in Loveland, OH, where she focuses on strategic management consulting. She can be reached at val@valariewillisconsulting.com

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