Friday, March 25, 2011

A Wish Simply to Live

Sometimes symbols may be potent purveyors of hope. An ancient Japanese legend promises that the wish of anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will come true.

The legend was brought to life through Eleanor Coerr's non fiction children's book Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes. The book tells the story of Sadako Sasaki ((1943-1955) who lived one mile from the Hiroshima blast on August 6, 1945. As she lay in a hospital bed with leukemia a few years later, a friend visited and cut a golden piece of paper into a crane which began the quest.

Now, amidst the devastation in Japan from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, reports bring news of heightened radiation dangers. A grassroots fundraising effort One Million Cranes initiated by Pacific Grove Elementary school in Northern California, hopes to enlist 1,000 other schools across the nation in folding 1,000 cranes each. They're hoping the public will donate $1 for each crane, thus raising $1 million for Japan.

Parent Stacy Jacobs says she "decided on March 14 that I no longer wanted to be just a passive observer. Our three children were watching and waiting, too, and I was struggling to help them understand the unbelievable tragedy we were seeing and hearing about. We all understood one thing very clearly, however: the people of Japan needed help."