In my opinion, books are the best accessory.
Different feature for this post, that I’m both proud and impressed with: Cranes of Hope.
A former student of mine, Niasha, a shy but bright light in classes through the years and during her fifth grade year took to heart an action that has impacted hundreds of people. She decided to create cranes and start an organization called Cranes of Hope. In doing this, she visits numerous Oncology centers around Oregon and drops off cranes created by herself and also other people who deliver, mail, and create them with her in workshops… Those cranes are picked up by people getting treated for cancer and provides some hope for them. This interview gives many more details about how she organizes the cranes, reaches out to hospitals, and was inspired by the book Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr.:
Niasha is someone who certainly represents that “You CAN Make a Difference” through her actions- getting cranes out into cancer treatment centers to provide hope to people getting treated for cancer…
I asked if I could interview her for this post, the following is my questions in italics:
What was your favorite childhood book memory? I’ve read the Magic Tree House books with my little brother at bedtime over this last few months. We really like them, it’s fun to get lost in the story. I get to be Anne and my brother gets to be Jack.
Have you read any children’s literature books recently? My all time favorite book is The Invention of HUGO CABRET by Brian Selznick. I read it in 4th grade the first time. I was so proud of myself for reading such a thick book. Reading has alway been hard for me, but I couldn’t put this story down. I’ve read it every year since. It just makes me feel good.
What is your favorite memory of Cranes of Hope in this past year? My favorite memory of Cranes of Hope was when I got to meet a person who was taking my cranes. It was a 7 yr old with leukemia whose family sent me a message that they loved my cranes and that they learned about collecting them from my basket. They said they planned on doing that. The little girl asked me to be her friend. She had to move away from all her friends to be by the hospital for treatment. I said YES right away. It broke my heart she didn’t have friends here. I made her a special little cranes of hope basket filled with cranes her favorite colors. Then I went and spent the whole day being her chemo buddy. At the end they had to clean her port. She didn’t like that done and she got scared. She asked them not to do it and they said they had to. So throughout the day I made my cranes talk in funny voices to her and each other. So she picked up two of the cranes I gave her and held them up to her face. She closed her eyes and held them touching her face by her mouth. Then she started doing what I’d been doing and making them talk to each other and wiggle while they talked. They finished cleaning her port while she did that. I almost cried. I saw my cranes helping her. I just can’t tell you what that did to me. I just knew this was going to be a big part of my life from that point on.
How are you working with Cranes of Hope Ambassadors? Ambassadors are people that fall in love with what I’m doing and want to help. I ask them to make a sign with my photo from my page for a basket. Show me what it looks like before it goes out for an OK from me. Then find a place near them they’d like a basket to keep full. They ask about a basket going there, and ask them to check out my page so they understand what we’re doing. They have to promise to put two hearts on every crane, because that’s for my motto “from my heart to yours”. They have to write messages on at least a few cranes. And be willing to teach if asked. And above all never let the basket go empty. I ask them to share photos with me so I can post them too. And they keep me up on their crane numbers going out.
Have you written any poems or notes to accompany your cranes? I write fun little quotes on my cranes all the time. I’m always trying to think of new ones. Like: I draw a pig on one wing, and “HOG ALL THE HOPE” on the other. I draw a leaf and put “FALL INTO HOPE”. I draw an Angel and write, “ANGELS WATCHING OVER YOU”. On ones with tiger like striped paper I write “GRRRRRR TAKE A BITE OUT OF CANCER”, then draw a bite mark. On plain white cranes I sometimes write, your story hasn’t been written yet, live strong. My newest was I draw a big bear on one wing, then “COME GET A BEAR HUG” on the other.
One thing I hope to do next with Cranes of Hope is… I have lots of plans for Cranes of Hope. I want to go global. I want LOVE, HOPE, and SMILES to go all around the world. I’m also hoping to go to a real non-profit status. I’ve asked about kids helping me and getting credit for doing community service. I was told “no” because I’m not a real organization. So I hope to raise the money to become one.
You forgot to ask me… After I came up with Cranes of Hope, my mama said I could get my bronze award in Girl Scouts with it. That’s the highest honor a scout can get as a JR. Well I got it, and am now working to get my silver award in Scouts and plan to go GOLD with it someday too. Girl Scouts loved what I was doing so much they made me their role model for their donor letters. That means my story and photo were sent out to people and businesses asking them to donate to Girl Scouts showing the type of girls they’re helping to build. I was very honored to know how much they supported my cranes idea.
Video of how to make a crane, by the expert Niasha on the Girl Scouts of America YouTube Channel:
Please consider following Niasha on her Cranes of Hope Facebook page, she has lovely pictures, a fantastic action, and a beautiful message of hope continuously flowing there: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cranes-of-Hope/247774075297381
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