Staff Report

What started out as a little girl’s dream to see more people of color represented in art and books has far surpassed anything she could ever imagine. Eight-year-old Madison Wilson, an African American elementary school student in Solvang, wished there were crayons that represented all colors of skin so children could accurately draw themselves. 

This past summer, Madison asked her mom, Vashti, if she could raise money to bring multicultural books and crayons to local schools. Thanks to media coverage across the nation, including The Washington Post, NBC Evening News and more, the fundraiser, aptly titled Madi’s Treasure Box, raised more than $40,000 within six weeks of fundraising on GoFundMe. The initiative will provide 14 U.S. schools and the nonprofit, Children’s Bureau, with multicultural books and crayons.

After trying unsuccessfully to purchase the thousands of multicultural crayons needed for the treasure boxes, Madison asked her mother Vashti Wilson if she could create her own line of crayons. To her delight, her mother said yes.

Madison and her mother Vashti Wilson created the ‘World Changer’ crayons because after Madison told CBS Evening News she wanted to be “a world changer” when she grew up.
Photo contributed

“We call them ‘World Changer’ crayons because in Madison’s interview with CBS Evening News, she was asked what she wants to be when she grows up,” Wilson said. “Madi’s response: ‘a world changer.’” 

Each 24-pack of crayons consists of 16 skin colors, 4 hair colors and 4 eye colors. Madison says she wants kids to have more options for skin colors than just peach and brown.

“For children, being able to draw themselves accurately or read a book that has characters that look just like them provides a sense of belonging and helps them feel less isolated in the world,” said Andra Martinez, Vice President of Communications and Development at Children’s Bureau, Inc., a nonprofit that serves children and families since 1851. “[Moreover,] Madi’s gift of crayons and books will serve as tools to help make uncomfortable conversations easier; providing a common denominator to promote cultural appreciation and understanding.” 

Vashti Wilson quickly realized that her daughter’s fundraiser had taken on a life of its own. 

“We are so grateful to donors who contributed to the campaign including companies that donated books and supplies,” she said. “I’m thrilled my daughter has been able to see what hard work and determination can do to make a difference in the world. We recently turned Madi’s Treasure Box into a nonprofit organization which allows this movement to grow exponentially. Our mission is to provide multicultural tools to schools across the United States in order to foster a more diverse and inclusive environment.”

The announcement of the new nonprofit comes at the perfect time as Madison and her mother appeared on ABC’s “The Kelly Clarkson Show” on Oct. 7. The mother-daughter duo hopes the extra exposure will help them raise an additional $50,000, a goal that will allow them to donate multicultural tools to additional schools. 

“My goal is to donate a box of crayons to [inner city] schools for every box of crayons people buy,” explains Madison. “I think it can happen. I want to change the world one crayon at a time!”
Now that Madi’s Treasure Box is a nonprofit, those interested in donating can do so directly on the website: Another way to support the organization is to pre-order Madi’s World Changer Multicultural Crayons before their November release.