Our 1000 Cranes Project Update

We are so moved by the amount of support we have received for this project.  We started with a simple call to action on our website and added it to our Facebook page which in turn tweeted our post and added it as a status on my LinkedIn profile.  Yes, we knew the power of social media but we did not realize how many places this project would reach.

As I mentioned in a previous post, we have received crane images from around the world.  We have received images from our customers, friends, family members and complete strangers! One of our customers retweeted our message which led to the project being posted in a Flickr group which led to a barrage of some of the most beautiful images of cranes we have seen.  We have stories of people who heard about this through friends of friends – not just Facebook friends but real actual live friends!!

We have also received monetary donations from several people who wanted to do something to contribute more than just $5 per crane!  So I am happy to say that our final donation is $6560 because of the extra monetary donations we have received.  Thank you to everyone who sent in your checks as well.  That was unexpected and truly appreciated.

We had several submissions from kids who wanted to help.  I contacted my daughters’ schools and they were quick to take action.  I went in to teach the kids how to make a crane and let me tell you, it wasn’t easy but it was certainly worth the effort.  My friend, Cathy Choi, also took the initiative to contact her daughter’s art teacher who gathered 2nd & 3rd graders together so that Cathy could go in and teach them as well.   A friend of Cathy’s went to her daughter’s school and spent time with the kids to teach them about the cause and how to make the cranes.  I’m sure our experiences are all pretty similar.  The kids really got it.  They knew they were doing something to help other kids.  They were excited, happy and I think they did get something out of it.  Plus, they got to take home their cranes!  I heard of lot of “cool!” and “awesome!” exclamations from the kids when they pulled the wings gently apart to finish their cranes.  So thank you to all the parents and teachers who took the time to get the kids to participate.   Making an origami crane isn’t easy!

It was definitely a communal effort.  We had groups at churches that sent in their pictures.  There were groups of employees that got together at a company or store that took some time to participate.  So for people who say human interaction is dead, think again!

We received pictures of small cranes, giant cranes, origami paper cranes, newspaper cranes, outdoor cranes, indoor cranes, colorful cranes, subdued cranes, we got it all!

I mentioned on our Facebook page that there was another organization called StudentsRebuild.org that was collecting the actual cranes and donating $2 per crane.  I believe they raised about $500,000.  I hope some of you sent the images of your cranes to us and then sent the actual cranes to them to maximize your donation!  The Girl Scouts also took action collecting cranes.  My daughter’s troop gave me their pictures and then sent their cranes to the head office.  The Girl Scouts of America were sending their cranes to the Girl Scouts of Japan who had sent them 1000 cranes after 9/11.

So thank you all for joining in our effort to do something for the communities in Japan who have been affected by these events.  I know so many of us are still thinking about them and hoping we can do more.  But after my experience with this project, I am renewed with the feeling that there’s hope for humanity afterall!!

Our Project is Complete!

treasures from japan

Have you ever thought, if only there was an easier way to get the toilet paper to roll out of the holder!!

Me neither but someone has!  Hence this Korobe-kun (ko-ro-bay-kün).  “Koro koro” is the sound the rolling action makes.  “-Kun” is the suffix you add to a little boy’s name and often onto the names of inanimate objects that have some sort of cute functionality.  At first I thought it was “ba-kun” as in “bacon” and I got a little excited.  But no one needs bacon in the bathroom.  That’s gross.   And plus, I was wrong.

It comes in various colors and as you can see, the older couple is quite happy that some smart little whipper snapper came up with this idea.  And for only 3950 yen!  I love Japan.


1000 Cranes Project

We began our 1000 Cranes Project in response to the earthquake and tsunami that hit the eastern coast of Japan.  The story goes that a wish is granted for those that make 1000 folded cranes.  The crane is seen as a mythical creature with a lifespan of 1000 years.  Each crane is to represent one year of the crane’s life.

The 1000 cranes is often seen as a symbol of hope, happiness and longevity.  We wanted to bring this sentiment to the people who have been affected by the events in Japan.  But we thought the idea of making a crane and sending the actual crane to us would deter some people from participating.  So we decided to ask for the images of the cranes.  In the end, we wanted to make a collage of the cranes and send it along with our donation to let the people of Japan know that not only did we want to help with a monetary donation but that we are sending our hopes and dreams along with it.

The response has been tremendous.  We have received crane pictures from Germany, India, the Czech Republic, Canada, Mexico and of course, all over the U.S.  We have several submissions from classes in the NY Metro area.  The teachers we have reached out to have been so kind and generous with their time and have been enthusiastic about sharing this project with their students.  We are up to about 650 cranes now, with more on the way.

I’ve attached a link here that gives step-by-step animated instructions on how to fold a paper crane:  http://origami.org.uk/origamicrane how cool is that?

If you’d like to participate, please make a crane, take a picture of it and send it to 1000cranes@miyacompany.com.  We’ll add it to our chart and donate $5 for each crane to Savethechildren.org specifically for the Japan Earthquake Tsunami Relief Fund.  They help displaced children and their families by setting up child friendly areas in evacuation centers.  There’s a lot of kids out there who have lost a lot and Save The Children are helping them cope with the tragedy.

We are truly lucky to have wonderful customers and friends who have been doing what they can to help with our project.  You can view all the beautiful crane images that we have received on our Facebook page.

Thank you for doing something to make a difference!


our progress chart as of April 7, 2011