When our country was rocked by the horrific events of 9-11 and Hurricane Katrina, Japanese Girl Scouts showed their support by sending us origami cranes. Girl Scouts all over are returning the friendship by working on our own "peace cranes" to send back to the people of Japan.
Organizations and individuals all over the World are busy responding to the news of the devastation in Japan. The recent earthquake and tsunami has brought an entire country to it's knees. Included in those organizations, Girl Scouts have also gotten busy collecting much needed supplies, money, letters of support and origami cranes to send to Japan. What good are paper cranes? Well, as important as the supplies and money are to rebuild a community- so is hope. Hope can come in the form of a simple wish from a person thousands of miles away, who with a paper crane or letter lets them know that we are wishing them healing, and hope for a successful future in their struggle towards a fresh start. We are saying we care and that means a lot.
If your troop or community organization is interested in helping Japan and hasn't done so yet- here are a few ideas.
- Challenge your troop or group to have yard sales, bake sales, walk/run or whatever you do that raises money and get it to a legitimate relief organization like the American Red Cross, GlobalGiving, Girl Scouts of the USA or many other organizations.
- Find out what supplies are needed and make relief packages with essential items in them. Items needed can be put in a gallon ziploc bag: Shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush, comb, nail clippers, bandages, hand towel, etc...basically any type of hygiene product that we use daily or first aid supplies.
- Buy a Japan Quake and Tsunami Patch. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Japan relief efforts. Go to patchworkdesigns.net for information.
- If you would like to make cranes please do so and mail them to: USAGSO- West Pacific, HQ USARJ/9th TSC, Unit 45005, APO, AP 96343-5005
- If you would like to write letters of support please go to hopeletters.org for more information
- Girl Scouts of Orange County is sending cranes at the end of April. If you have them done you can send yours there. Please go to their website for more information. GSCOC.org
- If you would like to go to the Girl Scouts of Japan website and see what they are doing, go to: Girlscout.or.jp
Want to make an Origami Peace Crane and don't know how? Go to "How to make an Origami Crane" on YouTube to learn.
Here is a note from the Girl Scouts of Japan:
Dear Girl Scout and Girl Guide sisters and friends;
Thank you very much for your continuous warm messages and all the moral support. They are very much encouraging for all the people affected by the earthquakes and tsunami in Japan.
Girl Scouts of Japan decided to gather goodwill donations. Since the transportation to the affected area is very much limited, at this point, we would like to ask for monetary contribution/donation. The donated money will be used for all the Girl Scout effort regarding the rescue and recovery in the seriously affected area.
Thank you again for all your kind and warm messages of support. Girl Scouts in Japan will face this challenge with courage and take action with Girl Scout spirit.
Normally in Girl Scouts- we aren't allowed to raise money for a cause, but this is one of the exceptions. According to GSUSA, in Fund Raising Policy for Girls in Scouting: It is allowed for troops/groups/girls to raise money to aid victims of a disaster as long as they decide themselves. Girl Scouts can't tell us to give, but if that is what the girls in a troop want to do, then they can. At GSUSA an account has been set up to collect donations to go to the Girl Scouts of Japan so that they can send one large donation of behalf of all Girl Scout sisters in the USA. If your troop has a donation for Girl Scouts to send - Make checks payable to Girl Scouts of the USA with memo line saying: Girl Scouts of Japan relief efforts. Mail to: Girl Scouts of the USA- Fund Development- P.O. Box 5046, New York, NY, 10087-5046
For more information about Girl Scouts in the USA- go to GSUSA