Thursday, March 31, 2011

Crafting for a Cause

I first started doing origami (the Japanese art of paper folding) when I was in fourth grade. I took a summer school class and quickly became obsessed. I'm sure that somewhere in my parents' house there's still a box of all the "treasures" I folded in late elementary school. When I was in sixth grade, my grandmother (who suffered from horrible allergies) was very ill, and I remember painstakingly folding a bouquet of yellow and orange paper lilies for her.

In high school, I earned my Girl Scout Gold Award. For those who don't know, this is a big. frickin. deal. It's the highest award in Girl Scouting, similar in many ways to the Boy Scout Eagle Award. It's pretty customary to hold a ceremony and reception when the award is presented, and for mine I decided I wanted to fold gold paper cranes as favors for each person who attended. In the week or two before the ceremony, I folded somewhere between 100-150 gold foil cranes.

Fast forward to 2011. I learned a couple weeks ago about an organization called Students Rebuild. They're collecting paper cranes as a fundraiser for rebuilding efforts in Japan.For every crane they receive, a foundation will donate $2 toward reconstruction. As of today they've received 21,000 cranes, but their goal is 100,000. If you're sending over 50 cranes, they'll even send you a pre-paid shipping label so that you just have to drop the box off with UPS! By sheer coincidence, my work has about 600 cranes (we were trying for 1,000 but quit early) sitting around that we've been trying to figure out what to do with, so tomorrow I'll be dropping off a rather large box at the UPS Store.

I wanted to get us to a round number (something about sending 604 cranes seemed a bit odd to me), so I figured I'd fold a few more at home tonight. And I'm still going to do that, but I also remembered that somewhere in my origami stuff, I still had a few leftover cranes from that Gold Award ceremony. Yes, I am a pack rat. And yes, that means that these cranes, stored safely in a box of origami paper, have moved from my hometown, to college, back to my hometown, to Massachusetts, and now to New Jersey. Now 15 of them (I saved two for myself out of pure nostalgia) will be packed in a box and sent to join thousands of others. I folded them 12 years ago and have kept them ever since, but now they're actually worth something to someone else.
Yeah, I laid out my cranes and took a picture for the blog. What, is that weird?
If you've got a few minutes to spare, find yourself a square piece of paper, fold a crane, and send it in.Or get a group of people together and make a party of it! It's not hard, I promise. Here's a video tutorial. If that doesn't work for you, we can set up an individual lesson on Skype or something. I've taught 8-year-olds to fold them. You can do it. Promise.

1 comment:

  1. Becky-
    You touched an old mom's heart in reading this. It's so nice that some of those Gold Award cranes will travel to Japan.