Jun
29

Crayons Matter Update!

by Courtenay Fields and placed under: Media
illy recently did a moving story about Making Life Better Through Volunteerism and included a short video on Crayons Matter – the piece hit Lillypad, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter last week – wow! I am speechless and humbled by this piece!

Facebook

“If children feel like they can dream – they can draw their own stories – then that’s what’s going to help us build communities.” Lilly employee Courtenay Fields reveals the story behind @Crayons Matter, a foundation inspired by her volunteer experience in Ghana through the Lilly Connecting Hearts Abroad program.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGL-i1RAXEA#t=20


Twitter

What is the impact of a crayon? What is the impact of one #volunteer experience? Maybe more than you thought. http://goo.gl/vvRJPj (links to video)


Why was Courtenay Fields inspired to start a new foundation after a #volunteer experience in Ghana? Because “Crayons Matter” 
May
26

Crayons Matter Milestones! Thank YOU!!

by Courtenay Fields and placed under: The Latest
Crayons Matter has celebrated a few inspiring milestones!!

Our second annual Crayons Matter Benefit held just two week ago at the Tyler White O’Brien Art Gallery raised over $21,000 that will allow us to deliver 1200 more backpacks filled with crayons and essential school supplies to Ghana – WE DID IT!  We will also have the opportunity to share 200 plus backpacks with the Newcomers School in Greensboro this fall.

Thank YOU all for joining us for the benefit and for participating in the silent auction that included crayon inspired art work that from artists from North Carolina and all over the country.  Thank you, ARTISTS!!

On May 15th I had the extraordinary opportunity to share the Crayons Matter Story that was sparked by my amazing Lilly Connecting Hearts Abroad Program experiences at the inaugural TEDxLilly Event.  What a humbling, engaging, and inspirational program!!  My generous Lilly colleagues donated 263 boxes of crayons (and counting!)  I am still pinching myself to have had this honor to give a TED talk on caring and CM …together we are making a difference!

Again, I wish to send a special thank you to the First Presbyterian Church of Greensboro that selected Crayons Matter as our Children’s International Outreach Project Partner for the 2013-2014 school year.  Through the generous donations that have been collected by our church community, FPC will have provided 54 backpacks to children in Ghana by year end – God continues to bless our mission to ensure that “no child goes without a pack of crayons that they can call their own” through His will, grace, and love!

Thank YOU all for your incredible support and kind generosity to make a difference for children all over the world.

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May
09

Second Annual Crayons Matter Fundraiser – Saturday, May 10th – Tyler White O’Brien Art Gallery

by Courtenay Fields and placed under: The Latest
Please join us for our second annual Crayons Matter fundraiser on Saturday!! What a milestone.

Crayons Matter Benefit 2014
Saturday, May 10th, 2014 6pm-9pm
Tyler White O’Brien Art Gallery

Silent Auction with Crayon inspired art that will start at $25!!!!  ALL money raised from our auction AND 10% of all Painting SALES will go to Crayons Matter!

We are thrilled again to partner with the Tyler White O’Brien Art Gallery in Greensboro, NC for this exciting event.

Thank YOU all for your incredible support and kind generosity to make a difference for children all over the world.

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Jan
05

Crayons Matter Milestones and Ghana October 2013 Backpack Delivery Montage

by Courtenay Fields and placed under: The Latest

I feel so humbled and honored to have the extraordinary opportunity to share the milestones of Crayons Matter for 2013. It is because of all of YOUR support and belief in this initiative that these service advances have been possible…I can only imagine what we will accomplish together in 2014!

Crayons Matter Ghana October 2013 Video Montage: http://youtu.be/GUMcC8c0joI

August 2012: The first backpacks and essential school supplies for Crayons Matter were purchased

December 2012: Lilly Charlotte District assembled backpacks in December for our Lilly Day of Service

March 2, 2013: Crayons Matter Launch Event was held at the Tyler White O’Brien Gallery – $21,242 was raised – extraordinary!

August 19, 2013: Backpacks shipped to Ghana from Greensboro

September 2013: Backpacks arrive in Ghana by container

October 2013: The Crayons Matter Volunteer Team consisting of Martin, Chantal, Julian, Francis, Godwin, Mark/Eric, Julian, and Brad delivered backpacks filled with school supplies and art to the inspirational students at the Sogakofe Primary School and Abor Primary and JHS Schools.

Save the date:  Our second annual benefit for Crayons Matter will be held at the Tyler White O’Brien Art Gallery in Greensboro, NC on Saturday, May 10th from 6-9pm. 

Crayons Matter will continue to collaborate with our sponsor schools and seek out partnerships with additional schools in Africa and schools locally and globally with the goal of delivering essential school supplies and art to children in need.

We plan to deliver 1,000 plus backpacks to our sponsor schools in Ghana this year and deliver 250 backpacks to our first sponsor school in Costa Rica in April 2014…stay tuned for more information!

I again send my deepest thank you to our CM Volunteer Team in Greensboro and those that traveled to Africa that gave an immense amount of time and energy in such a dear, genuine way. I thank the Greensboro, NC community and those in the Florida, Georgia, Indiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia communities, and friends and colleagues throughout the US and globally that have donated time, energy, Art, and gifts of support to make the Crayons Matter mission a reality. Thank you Kaki for an amazing Stella and Dot/Crayons Matter fundraiser in October.

Again, I wish to send a special thank you to the First Presbyterian Church of Greensboro that has chosen Crayons Matter as their partner in the support of our church’s Children’s Outreach Ministry mission of “Children Helping Children.” God continues to provide great blessings as There is no doubt that the vision of Crayons Matter to ensure that “no child should go without a pack of crayons that they can call their own” is becoming reality through God’s miraculous will, grace, and the love of our church community.

Thank you to Lilly for creating the inspiration and “Spark” behind Crayons Matter. After an incredible volunteer at a school in Hohoe, Ghana in 2011 through the Connecting Hearts Abroad Ambassador program, I realized the essential need for schools supplies. I am grateful for every gift of energy, art, and donation from my entire Lilly and OBU family….you guys are the best

The hope of Crayons Matter is that we can all work together to provide the basics of education to children by first inspiring their strong imaginations and supplying them with crayons, paper, backpacks, art, and other essential school supplies. By making a difference through service, we can gain a deeper understanding of the value of passionate giving.

Crayons Matter is fortunate to share our story and journey. This is is just the beginning, and I am so grateful to communities far and wide for your love and enduring support.

xxx Courtenay

www.crayonsmatter.org

http://youtu.be/GUMcC8c0joI

Oct
27

Crayons Matter

by Courtenay Fields and placed under: The Latest
As the sun rose in Africa this morning, I felt so humbled and honored to have had the extraordinary opportunity to travel on behalf of Crayons Matter to Africa where our core team engaged, connected, served, and gave back to communities in Ghana. It has been a pleasure to share backpacks and essential school supplies with the kind and inspirational students at the Sogakofe Primary School and Abor Primary and JHS Schools. It is a blessing to spend time with the joyful and faithful people of Ghana. The Ghanaians make you realize immediately that family, friends, fellowship, and the church community are the cornerstones of life. This experience is not only life changing, but faith affirming, and it highlights the importance of being a living part of the community and dedicating time, energy, and resources to give back responsibly.

This enriching experience once again has made me consider the ways that Crayons Matter can continue to engage to make a difference and give back in love with those globally or within my own community. Through God’s great provision, Crayons Matter will continue to collaborate with our sponsor schools and seek out partnerships with additional schools in Africa and schools locally and globally with the goal of delivering essential school supplies and art to children in need.

I again send my deepest thank you to our CM Volunteer Team that gave an immense amount of time and energy in such a dear, genuine way this week: Martin, Chantal, Julian, Francis, Godwin, Mark, Julian, and Brad. I thank the Greensboro, NC community including those in the Florida, Georgia, Indiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia communities, and friends and colleagues throughout the US and globally that have donated time, energy, Art, and gifts of support to make the Crayons Matter mission a reality. What an amazing Stella and Dot/Crayons Matter fundraiser we recetnly had – thank you, Kaki!!

I want to send a special thank you to the First Presbyterian Church of Greensboro that has chosen Crayons Matter as their partner in the support of our church’s Children’s Outreach Ministry mission of “Children Helping Children.” God continues to provide great blessings as Crayons Matter has also served as a partner in FPC’s Africa Day Global Village Program during Vacation Bible School and has been selected to be First Presbyterian’s Children’s Outreach Project for this school year. Crayons Matter has also has the wonderful opportunity to collaborate as a Children’s Sabbath Celebration partner. There is no doubt that the vision of Crayons Matter to ensure that “no child should go without a pack of crayons that they can call their own” is becoming reality through God’s miraculous will, grace, and the love of our church community.

Thank you to Lilly for creating the inspiration and “Spark” behind Crayons Matter. After an incredible volunteer at a school in Hohoe, Ghana in 2011 through the Connecting Hearts Abroad Ambassador program, I realized the essential need for schools supplies. A BIG thank you to the Charlotte District for your help assembling backpacks in December for our Lilly Day of Service!! I am grateful for every gift of energy, art, and donation from my entire Lilly and OBU family….you guys are the best 

The hope of Crayons Matter is that we can all work together to provide the basics of education to children by first inspiring their strong imaginations and supplying them with crayons, paper, backpacks, art, and other essential school supplies. By making a difference through service, we can gain a deeper understanding of the value of passionate giving.

One of my favorite songs by For King and Country, The Proof of Your Love,” reminds me of the importance of including love in all of our relationships and to give back in joy. The song quotes 1 Corinthians 13:1–7: If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.

Crayons Matter is fortunate to share our story and journey. This is is just the beginning, and I am so grateful to communities far and wide for your love and enduring support.

xxx Court

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Oct
26

Sogakofe Primary School Backpack Delivery

by Courtenay Fields and placed under: The Latest
Wow! It was a truly inspiring experience to deliver the first group of Crayons Matter backpacks to over 400 children at the Sogakofe Primary School in Sogakofe, Ghana. This was a 2 year, 3 month, and 24 day journey in the making – what a remarkable team effort!

Since pictures speak a thousand words (a million in this case), I will share…kudos to each of you that believed in the power of this mission and gave unconditionally. You can make a difference – witness this for yourself.

Thank you to the amazing work of our core team: Martin, Julian, Chantal, Franci
s, and Mark…the first delivery of Crayons Matter backpacks would not be possible with your energy, hard work, and shared passion to serve!! :)

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Oct
26

Ghana Backpack Delivery!

by Courtenay Fields and placed under: The Latest
Thank you all for your kind comments! I echo Padmore’s sentiments – what joy we experienced in Abor! I am completely humbled and honored by the love that was shared with our team by the students, staff, parents, and distinguished guests – I hope you all can feel the happiness that was flowing on campus and throughout the community. This was the first time that the Abor JHS collaborated with a non-profit organization like Crayons Matter, and it delights me that this will be a continued relationship for many years to come.

Thank YOU to everyone who worked so diligently to make this first Crayons Matter backpack delivery a success in Ghana. I must admit that I am still processing this incredible experience, and as a united team, we are creating a plan to provide additional educational supplies from a grassroots level to Abor and Sogakofe.

This is just the first step for Crayons Matter in our mission to give back and make a difference for children in need of essential school resources! You can learn more at www.crayonsmatter.org

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Oct
25

The Road Back to Ghana: Day 1

by Courtenay Fields and placed under: The Latest
The Road Back to Ghana Day 1: After an 11 hour flight from JFK – our first Crayons Matter Backpack Delivery Team made it safely to Accra, Ghana: Brad, Martin Agbemabiese, MD, and myself! I could hardly contain my excitement (and a few tears) as we landed. What a dream come true! We were greeted by several of Martin’s amazing friends and family members – including his sister and brother. The mission of Crayons Matter would not be possible without this generous group of individuals.

We will transport 400 plus backpacks to our first sponsor school tomorrow and then follow with a delivery of 400 backpacks to our second sponsor school on Friday. We are super excited and cannot wait to share the details of our service experience in the villages outside of Accra.

Thank you for your kind comments, thoughts, and prayers as we embark on this amazing service journey…you will be present as each child opens their very own backpack tomorrow. I am so grateful and honored to return to this inspiring country and have the opportunity to deliver joy and love in the form of crayons!! Stay tuned for our next update…



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Oct
23

What Sparked Crayons Matter?

by Courtenay Fields and placed under: The Latest
What sparked Crayons Matter?  Many of you know that I had the incredible opportunity to travel to Ghana in 2011 through the inaugural Lilly program called Connecting Hearts Abroad.  Over the past several years, this thought provoking initiative has sent 200 volunteers to countries globally to serve and determine way s that we can improve global health.  It was  through this inspiring volunteer experience at a Hohoe school that I realized the essential need for schools supplies – no child should go without a pack of crayons that they can call their own.  What an amazing spark, right!!

When I consider the amazing Crayons Matter journey that started over two years, I am delighted and humbled by the outpouring of support from all of YOU!  Because of the time, energy, and resources that have been graciously donated to Crayons Matter, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to deliver over 800 backpacks this week to Ghana (826 to be exact!)  I am a true believer in divine intervention, and God continues to bless the mission of this organization.  I can only imagine the smiles on the children’s faces when they open up navy blue backpacks filled with crayons, notebooks, pencils, colored pencils, sharpeners, and of course, pieces of art work from children in the United States (North Carolina, South Carolina, Indiana, Florida) !   I want to send a heartfelt thank you to everyone who believed in Crayons Matter from the moment of this “spark” and gave from your hearts to make a difference in the lives of children.  Every backpack is filled with love, and I can hardly wait to share pictures!

Fact: Lilly Charlotte District traveled all the way to Greensboro in December to assemble backpacks – what a remarkable Lilly Day of Service! 
Aug
26

Abor R.C. JHS School Backpack Delivery

by Courtenay Fields and placed under: The Latest
I do not think I ever could have imagined the extraordinary welcome that the the Crayons Matter core team (Martin, Julian, Chantal, Frances, Eric, Godwin, Brad and myself) received when we delivered 400 backpacks filled with crayons and essential school supplies to the Abor R. C. JHS today.

The headmaster, teachers, parents, ministers, chairperson, and other instrumental government and school officials greeted us with an incredible program of celebration that included tents, food, Crayons Matter banners, inspirational music and dance, welcome sashes, and passionate presentations. The children remained the center of our attention as we engaged with the leaders of the Abor community that are passionate about the power of providing a sound education to every student.

Our hearts and minds were warmed by the smiles on the faces of so many children that were thrilled to received Crayons Matter Backpacks!!

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