Why did the crayon cry? He was feeling blue. NJMOM jokes aside, now your kid’s favorite rainy-day coloring activity can serve a unique purpose: putting a smile on someone else’s face. When you sign up to volunteer with Color A Smile, a Morristown-based 501(c)(3) national non-profit organization, your drawings are collected and sent to senior citizens, hospital patients, overseas troops, and anyone else in need of extra cheer – a head-turning one million smiles around the country have been delivered; how color-iffic is that?
Spreading Smiles One Drawing at a Time With Color A Smile
Inspired by seeing a child’s crayon drawing on a refrigerator door, husband and wife team Jerry and Susanne Harris launched Color A Smile in 1986. They asked local teachers to task their students with coloring, and then the Harrises hand-delivered a few drawings at a time to nursing homes in the area.
For the last 32 years, Color A Smile has mailed out thousands of drawings by kids (and even some adults!) every month, reaching over a million people. From flag drawings sent to a task force serving in Afghanistan to a lupus patient living in an assisted care facility in Texas, Jerry told NJMOM about a few of the many individuals who have been touched by Color A Smile drawings. The organization has also partnered with Meals on Wheels to send thousands of meals enclosed with drawings to senior citizens throughout New Jersey.
“A note received from that troop in Afghanistan thanked us for our care package, which helped to ease their burden and reminded them why they were there,” said Jerry.
How to Volunteer with Color A Smile
If you’d like to start sharing smiles, there are 4 simple steps you can do now:
- Print a Free-Art or Color-In page from the organization’s website
- Color the page using crayons or markers (but spare the glitter, please!)
- Sign your masterpiece with your first name and age on the front (do not date it)
- Enclose in an envelope (folding is permitted) and mail via USPS to:
Color A Smile
PO Box 1516
Morristown, NJ 07962-1516
(If using FedEx or UPS, mail to: 166 Ridgedale Ave., Morristown, NJ 07960)
Recipients never pay to receive drawings, and your cheery works of art are distributed via a small suggested donation. So in the spirit of sharing smiles, grab those old boxes of crayons and start coloring outside the lines – someone in need of a brighter day is looking forward to your pint-size Picasso’s masterpieces.
For more information about how to get involved with Color A Smile and how your donation helps, check out their website here.
Have you participated in the Color A Smile program? Let us know about your experience in the comments below!