The PeaceBrix Process
Every time a donation comes in, we get excited! Donations vary based on the family and the size of their collections, but they usually weigh in around 10-20 pounds total weight. We plop the boxes up on a deli scale and note the weight, keeping track of each donation.
Bricks are carefully sorted into standard bricks (that will eventually get included into our packages for schools) and collections of unique parts and pieces that have value in LEGO marketplaces like Facebook and BrickLink. Do you see the Space Shuttle nose cone and fuselage in this picture? If we’re lucky, we might be able to find a buyer in the PeaceBrix BrickLink store.
CLEANSE AND SANITIZE
All the bricks that will be included in our shipments to schools are cleansed and sanitized in commercial-grade dishwashers. If you don’t recognize the netted white bags, they’re for washing hoisery in standard washing machines. They help keep the LEGO pieces from flying around loose and clogging the machine.
After removing the bricks from the dishwasher, we spread them out on towel-covered tables to absorb the extra water and allow them to air-dry. Once dry, we spray them with a bleach-based sterilizing solution. When the cleansing process is complete, we transfer the cleaned bricks to 18-quart storage containers for temporary storage.
PACKING THE SHIPMENT
Putting a shipment together is a very involved process… it must be done carefully to ensure there’s plenty of variety. We make sure that if a wheel goes into the box, there’s another wheel exactly like it included to make a pair. And we ensure there’s just the right-sized axle so they can be used together. We make sure there are plenty of windows and doors, cool spaceship parts, architectural components (like arches, gates, and hinges), and platforms to build on. We’re very careful to ensure that all things that come in pairs — like airplane wings or shutters — get packed in pairs.
There are certain things that make LEGO play so much more exciting. Things like minifigures, fun utensils, little LEGO animals, and of course… BLING. To us, the colorful transparent 1x1 pieces look like jewels, and in the mind of a 7 or 8-year old girl, they might as well be. We pack this small compartmentalized box into the shipment and load it with the essentials. Typically we have room enough for 6-8 minifigures (all ladies, of course), a handful of different hats for various adventures, a couple dozen LEGO “utensils” (which include everything from tools to dinnerware), steering wheels, and animals. Our favorites are the alligator, the dolphin, and little cats. One thing that’s not in the box: Weapons of any kind.
READY FOR SHIPMENT
After triple-checking the contents, we backfill any empty space at the top with extra bricks. Included with every package is a letter to the recipient as well as our printed lesson plans. These lesson plans are geared toward a 3rd or 4th grade audience and have been developed to teach STEM fundamentals in a fun way. The schools we work with today are helping us optimize the lesson content and organization, but they will be made public soon.
NEXT STOP… The Classroom
Eventually our shipment ends up right where we want it to… In the hands of a young creative genius, excited to transform a random set of plastic bricks into something truly inspiring!