Japanese legend has it that if you make one thousand paper cranes, the gods will cure you. A Vietnamese-American student initiated a paper crane folding fund-raising project that would benefit children affected by Typhoon Haiyan.
Tenth grader Francis Nguyen, together with her friends Chieu Le, Teresa Do, and Kali Gabriel, got people from their community to fold 1000 paper cranes that generated a total of $1,000. A crane was equivalent to a one-dollar donation.
“Cranes symbolize hope, health, happiness, and longevity. People need something to hope for and smile about when they believe there isn’t much to look forward to in their future, ”Nguyen said when she turned over the cranes and the proceeds to Philippine Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia.
“The Crane Project, which seeks to bring hope after devastation, was inspired by the Japanese myth that if one folded a thousand cranes, his or her wish would be granted,” Nguyen added,
Nguyen previously folded paper cranes for victims of the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in 2011.
Cuisia turned over Nguyen’s donation to Feed the Hungry, Inc., a Philippine-based organization assisting relief and rehabilitation efforts in Eastern Visayas.
“I would like to thank you for your kindness, generosity, and prayers. The children in the Philippines, especially those orphaned by the typhoon, need those things you mentioned—hope, health, happiness, and longevity—as we move from the relief phase to the rehabilitation phase,” Cuisia said, in response to Nguyen.
Cuisia also received over $18,000 from representatives of the Vietnam Buddhist Center and the Tu Bi Foundation.
Citing the Philippines’ acceptance of Vietnamese refugees during the Vietnam War in 1975, Thich Nguyen Hanh, Abbott of the Vietnam Buddhist Center said, “We are in debt to our Filipino friends.”
“No words can express my gratitude and appreciation for what you had done for us, your support, your extraordinary generosity, kindness, heroism, and never-ending grace which comforted us through the most difficult time in our nation,” he added.
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