• Japan Relief: Folding up and reaching out

    By Cameron DouglasMaking cranes for earthquake, tsunami relief

    Pacific Grove’s Stacey Jacobs couldn’t sleep. The website designer and mother of three pored over the news from Japan following the Mar. 11 earthquake, and wondered how she might someday answer one simple question from her grandchildren: “When it happened, what did you do for Japan?”

    She thought of folding one-dollar bills and sending those to the stricken country, but realized the logistical problems of sending currency. So she turned her thoughts to the Red Cross, which has promised 91 cents out of every dollar taken in to benefit Japan will go to Japan.

    Then she remembered her daughter had received a Christmas gift of a folding origami kit, and an idea took shape. She did the math and figured out if 1,000 schools sent in $1,000 each, a million dollars could be raised.

    How to do it?

    In the wee hours of Tuesday, Mar. 15, Jacobs sat down and launched a website called, “onemillioncranes.org. The site provides all details on how the process works. Students from schools fold origami cranes, and either contribute a dollar for each one or collect a dollar from a sponsor. The website has clear instructions for the donation process, and all proceeds go directly to the Red Cross.

    A few hours after launching the site, she checked in and found that a school in Tennessee had joined in. Within a week, she had heard from schools as far away as Switzerland and Australia.

    “The idea is to connect our kids with what happened,” said Jacobs.

    With two of her kids enrolled at Robert Down Elementary, that school became ground zero for the project. The campus was still buzzing a week later, with folded cranes adorning hallways and classrooms. As of Mar. 24, RDS had 905 cranes and counting, with donations coming in to take them to their goal of $1,000. The money will be placed in the student council fund, and then a check will be sent on to the Red Cross.


    posted to Cedar Street Times on March 26, 2011

    Topics: Current Edition, Front PG News, Cameron Douglas


    You must be logged in to post a comment.