By Sue Moore
This holiday season the Friends of the Schoolcraft Library would like to give the Library 1,000 origami cranes to raise funds for library needs. The folded-paper cranes would decorate the library, secretly holding names of area residents, their hopes and wishes.
“Friends members will begin folding cranes at the Library on October 21 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. with cider and doughnuts offered,” said member Deb Christiansen. More mass folding workshops are to be scheduled. “Folding a crane can seem a little intimidating at first, but it’s really no more complicated than folding a paper airplane. There are just a few more steps.”
The project stems from an ancient Japanese legend: Someone who folds 1,000 cranes in a year will be granted a wish. The legend was revived in popular culture when a Japanese girl, Sadako Sasaki, a victim of the Hiroshima atomic bomb in 1945, hoped to fold 1,000 to heal her radiation poisoning. Even though stories vary on whether or not she completed 1,000 before her death, her spirit drives a legacy for peace in the Peace Crane Project and, in Hiroshima, the Children’s Peace Monument.
Christiansen first heard of the legend in college. “I attempted to fill my college dorm room ceiling at Kalamazoo College with as many cranes as I could make,” Christiansen said, “maybe in an attempt to ace a chemistry exam. That was a long time ago.” She thought the legend would be well suited for a Schoolcraft Library fundraiser. “Each crane is a symbol of the support given the library by the community with the added bonus of being an extraordinarily beautiful display. Traditionally, the cranes are strung and hung on strings, but since the library boasts the spectacular hobbit tree, we will start hanging them there.”
Contributions will be used for computer software and hardware. “There is a need for computer upgrades for the patrons with well-supported software running on each. My choice would be for Microsoft Office Suite, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe InDesign,” she said. Christiansen has formed a Facebook group for the Friends of the Schoolcraft Library for feedback from patrons on what software would best serve the community. “There is a copy of Microsoft Publisher on one of the computers. I’d be interested to hear if it would be used more if more people knew it was there.” Patrons can comment at Facebook.com/groups/schoolcraftlibraryfriends or via the message box at schoolcraftlibraryfriends.org.
Cranes will be available for sale at the library and online in many varieties: 10 gold cranes – $50, five silver cranes – $25, two green cranes – $10, one red crane – $5, one white crane – $1.
There will be a display set up at the library where patrons can purchase and fold a printed crane. Patrons may write a wish inside. There will be a matching donation made by the Jack Scobey Action Fund for the $1,000 collected. A gold level donor‘s name will be posted ten times on social media and at the library. A silver level donor will be posted five times, a green level donor twice and red and white donor, once. “This fundraiser is called ‘1,000 Cranes by Christmas,’ but we are hoping to have 1,000 cranes by the Schoolcraft Christmas Walk, December 6 and 7,” Christiansen said. “The library will be open during the Walk on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. giving the community an excellent time to see the crane display.”
The Schoolcraft Community Library has the following books available on the legend of the cranes. Sadako Sasaki: One Thousand Paper Cranes by Takayuki Ishii, Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr, and Sadako by Eleanor Coerr and Ed Young.