Crayons to Computers recently celebrated its 25th Anniversary with a sold-out crowd in Cincinnati, Ohio. Madison’s Kati Őri and her husband, Patrick, represented the Madison team at the gala. Dinner and silent and live auctions raised needed funding for the organization.

For the last 25 years, Crayons to Computers has been working to “level the playing field in the classroom by ensuring that teachers can provide students in need with the tools to succeed in school.” To date, the organization has distributed more than $185 million worth of free school supplies and incentive items, thanks to its partnerships with supporting companies. As one of those supporting companies, Madison understands how important it is to level the playing field, so that students in need may have a better chance of changing the trajectory of their lives, both educationally and psychologically. In fact, Brad Meeks, CFA, Madison’s Principal and Senior Portfolio Manager, dedicates time to their mission by volunteering on Crayons to Computers’ Finance Committee.

Since Crayons to Computers’ inception, poverty levels (both local and national) have only increased. It is sobering that Cincinnati is one of the poorest cities in the country. The overall poverty rate in Cincinnati is nearly 30% compared to 14% nationally. According to recent census data, approximately 1 out of every 5 children living in Greater Cincinnati lives in poverty. When students have the tools necessary to achieve, they are more prepared and more likely to succeed in the classroom.

Teachers are at the heart of a child’s success story as they routinely dip into their own pockets to provide for their classrooms. Crayons to Computers alleviates some of that financial burden with its Teacher Resource Center (Store), and online ordering site. At the Center, teachers can find basic supplies like crayons, paper, scissors, and pencils, as well as little rewards for students to motivate and inspire engagement. All the products are donated or purchased at reduced prices from partnering companies.

As part of their 25th-anniversary celebration, Crayons to Computer released a number of videos featuring teachers and volunteers. From an art teacher’s perspective, here is Judith Lamb, who teaches in Grant County, Kentucky, extolling what Crayons to Computers has meant for her students over the years.

If you are interested in learning more about Crayons to Computers, check out their website here. In addition to information about their impact, you will also find many ways to support their mission, including a special Pappy Van Winkle bourbon rafflean upcoming donation supply drive, and more.