Chardon, OH- How can a child color a rainbow without a peppy orange, a pretty pink or a vibrant violet? When Chardon Girl Scout Troop 71192 Brownie Ella Tryon was hospitalized in July 2016 she faced that dilemma. “I’m at Rainbow [Babies and Children’s] Hospital and I can’t color a rainbow,” she told her mother, Jaclyn, who searched high and low for a box of crayons before retreating to the hospital gift shop to purchase a pack. Jaclyn explains that her pursuit led to her discovery that hospitals, to avoid cross-contamination, don’t keep used crayons on hand. That did not sit well with Ella, who wanted all young hospital patients to have a fresh box of crayons to call their own, to color a rainbow, a dinosaur or any doodad they desire.
“She would not let it go,” says Jaclyn, referring to her daughter’s desire to supply 1,000 boxes of crayons to every children’s hospital in the country. “After dinner, she’d say, ‘Let’s talk about those crayons.’”
Within three weeks of Ella’s return home from the hospital, she had already raised 1,000 donated boxes of crayons for Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital from members of her community. Attention to Ella’s efforts by WEWS TV-5 news resulted another 2,000 donated boxes of crayons from Greater Cleveland area residents. In 102 days Ella had generated donations of 13,132 boxes of crayons and 254 coloring books. Along with the donations came the formation of Help Me Color a Rainbow, Ella’s nonprofit foundation, borne out her wish to give every hospitalized child an opportunity at personal and artistic expression.
“I want to take sure they have an activity other than watching movies and can be creative,” Ella says.
Ella is well on her way to making her selfless dream come true. Since July 2016, the 8-year-old has raised donated crayons to the tune of 27,132. Among the lucky recipients: children at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis received 5,000 boxes; and Shriners Hospital for Children in Erie, Pa., the Cleveland Clinic, Utah Primary Children’s in Salt Lake City, Utah, Le Boehner Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Akron Children’s Hospital, Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, UC Davis Children’s Hospital in Sacramento, Calif., and Palm Beach Children’s Hospital in Palm Beach, Fla. each received 1,000 boxes. Ella’s foundation also raised a total of 13,132 boxes of crayons for Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital.
Ella’s fellow Brownies have helped her along the way, labeling crayon boxes and donating them as well. Jaclyn says Girl Scouting values go hand in hand with those Ella has developed managing her nonprofit organization.
“She has taken a lot of what she learned in the foundation back to the troop, such as public speaking and money management. She presents the skills that represent and reflect Girl Scouts,” Jaclyn says. “Everything I want her to be, Girl Scouts teaches those same values.”
This year, Ella hopes to reach her goal of raising donations for 15,000 boxes of crayons. Her foundation’s first Help Me Color a Rainbow Golf Outing on Friday, June 8, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. at Pleasant Hill Golf Course in Chardon promises to help her do just that. For $80, participating golfers receive lunch, 18 holes with a cart, beer, a $500 cash prize to the first-place team, a hole-in-one contest for a car, two $1 million hole in one chances, skills shots prizes, and a steak dinner. Warrior Golf contributed move than $30,000 of merchandise to the event. To participate or sponsor a hole, call 440-228-2153 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Like and share https://www.facebook.com/therayonegirl/.