Bailey Snow is a busy 17 year old. He’s a full time student with a part time job, and earlier this month, was accepted into his dream school, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Snow is the founder of BrickDreams, a project that collects, cleans and redistributes LEGO bricks to children in need.
A trivia buff, he came up with the idea one spring afternoon while riding in the car with his parents. “I had a trivia app on my phone and one of the facts that came up was ‘there are 62 LEGO bricks for every person on Earth’.” Snow began connecting the dots. “I had hundreds if not thousands of bricks of my own. And if the law of averages plays out then there are many kids who must not have any LEGOS. The idea just grew from there.” He officially began work in May 2012, his freshman year of high school, when his parents helped him set up a domain name.
To get the word out, he posted flyers, asking for LEGO donations. Says Snow, “That didn’t work so I called the local newspaper and asked if they can do an article on BrickDreams.” The Granite Bay Press Tribune complied and the donations started rolling in.
In April 2014, Snow was honored with USA Today’s ‘Make A Difference Day’ award. “Ever since the USA Today article we’ve been getting LEGO donations from all over the country.” In addition to LEGO donations, tennis clubs donate used tennis ball containers which BrickDreams uses to package the LEGOs for distribution. “We keep the donations in the house. The living room is now the LEGO room.” Snow doesn’t doubt that his parents want their living room back, “but at the end of the day they know we’re doing a good thing.”
Snow is set to graduate from high school May 2015 but that doesn’t mean the end of BrickDreams. “After graduation I’ll pass Brickdreams on to my little sister and mom.” Snow wants to study Economics and isn’t sure he’ll be able to devote the necessary time (and storage space) to sustain the project. He has already begun transitioning his sister into more of a leadership role and is confident that the project will continue. Snow’s mother is considering registering BrickDreams as a 501c(3) nonprofit.
Most of the children BrickDreams helps are victims of domestic violence and felony abuse. Every now and then he hears a story of how one of his LEGO sets helped calm an especially scared child. “You never know what kind of effect the LEGOs will have on the kids, maybe [the kids] will be inspired to become engineers one day.”