Saturday, April 2, 2011

Kindness for Japan

I realize that I am, perhaps, a bit late to jump on the Japan bandwagon. What more can possibly be said? Some of my favourite bloggers have posted thoughts and images that are eloquent and moving. For example, my blogging hero, David Lebovitz shared this post with beautiful images.

However, last weekend when I answered a knock at the door, I was surprised to find our neighbour's two young daughters. They were selling origami cranes, in an effort to raise money for Japan. Paper cranes that they themselves had made. The story of the origami crane is incredibly inspiring, and under the circumstances so apropos. I was impressed and encouraged by their effort to make a difference, their creativity, and their kindness. As it turns out their Sensei is from Japan, and so their dojo decided to do something to help. But I think they can tell their story so much better than I can......

Making Japanese cranes – raising money for the earthquake and tsunami victims in Japan

Our Mom and Dad told us about the horrible thing that happened in Japan. They showed us internet pictures of what happened to Japan after the earthquake and the tsunami. People dying, losing their homes and belongings, being separated from their families – what can we do to help being so far away from Japan? We belong to a karate school and our Japanese sensei sent a newsletter on Friday morning during our March break. Our dojo was going to make a thousand cranes and sell them at two dollars each to raise money for the Red Cross in Japan.

We know how to make cranes and enjoy making them. We made lots of cranes that Friday and started selling them in our neighbourhood that weekend. We did not tell people how much the cranes were and told them to give us whatever they want to pay for them. Many neighbours were happy in seeing the cranes (we made the cranes that can flap their wings) and gave us lots of money and would only take a few cranes. One the first day within one hour we sold 29 cranes and made $79. We went home and made more colourful cranes and sold more cranes the next day. We
just went around our neighbourhood during one weekend, no more than two hours going door to door and made $225 for 50 cranes. We were very impressed and excited. Many people told us that we are doing a good job raising money for Japan. We took more cranes to our dojo on the Monday after March break. There we learned a different way to make cranes (these cranes are not able to flap their wings). These cranes were threaded onto a string which has a sign on the bottom saying “I Japan” on the front and has Japanese writing on the back. So we taught our friends how to make cranes so that they can sell them in their neighbourhoods.

We also went to our principal in school to see if we could sell cranes there. She agreed, but the moneywould not go through our dojo, but go directly to the Red Cross. We made a box with the Japanese Flag on top and taped letters on the side of the flag saying “Support Japan” and put 60 cranes into the box. Then our neighbour asked us to send in a picture of us and the cranes so that she can put it onto her blog.We hope with all the cranes and making people aware of the suffering that is going on in Japan, we will make a difference.

from Sonja and Katja

Raising children with empathy and compassion - now that's really kind.

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