We never dreamed it would get this big.
Tonight we counted the bundles and put the boxes on a bathroom scale. To date we have 12,730 pencils weighing in at 150lbs -coincidentally the maximum weight in extra baggage I can take.
Do you know how much room in an average sized house 12,730 pencils takes up? It's 127 bundles of 100 pencils each. Each bundles weighs about 19 oz. 100 pencils is about what the average sized adult can successfully brace against their body with one hand - ensuring that they don't move to fast lest those 100 pencils break free and skitter across the floor just as you try to wrap an elastic band around them. Also, when the elastic band inevitably breaks as you wind it for a third time, it's really hard to control those 100 pencils. So far I've been smacked in the eye, the lip, the cheek, the wrist and the knee by snapping elastic bands.
Five and 1/2-year-olds really like opening packages of pencils. Two and 1/2-year-olds really, really like spreading pencil packaging throughout the house. Seven and 1/2 year-old Rottweilers have absolutely no interest in pencils or packaging. If it's supper time for said dog & they are being ignored, then they really care about pencils and packaging and will do their level-headed best to sit in the middle of the controlled piles and wiggle them into chaos while whining and barking.
12,730 pencils generated a surprisingly small amount of waste. It didn't quite fill a blue box with paper once the boxes were collapsed. Plastic waste was less that three grocery bags full. Unfortunately the plastic used in pencil packaging is not recyclable.
So that's behind the scenes with Kaden's incredibly successful "Kids Helping Kids" pencil project. Many, many people need to be thanked. Mom and Dad for bringing in all the BC pencils. Kaden's cousin Jessica for her shoebox full of cool stuff. The Wards for their usual amazing level of support for everything we do. Shan's Dad Merv for pencils, errands and general assistance. My brother and his wife. Shan's sister and her husband. Meghan and Deet. Nat. Sean and Katy. Charla and Matt for harassing their co-workers. G.W. Smith school for kicking things off and letting the media in. The Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School Environment Club for collecting 2075 pencils and $271 in cash. Sue and the rest of the staff and students at St. Martin de Porres Elementary for collecting over 2300 pencils & cash. Shannon's co-workers. My co-workers. Sherry and Jerry Hedlund & Grand Central Stichin' for 630 pencils today. Our Mayor's Mom! Colin from the City Rec Department who made the first cash donation - $20. Jeff Stokoe & Leo Pare from the Advocate. CHTV & CTV news. And many many other people & groups, both close friends and complete strangers who helped with this either through cash donations or through pencils. If I didn't list your name it's only because I'm exhausted not ungrateful. And of course, my four GSE team mates who will be helping deliver these to kids who really need them.