Everyone knows of the horrific tsunami and earthquake that hit Japan recently. Thousands died, tens of thousands were injured, and even more were displaced from their homes. The damage has devastated the region and many people have lost hope in the recovery of their homeland.
People have sent money to Japan in the millions, and that will help the region recover, but there is only so much that money can do. A dollar can keep you warm or fed, but it can’t restore hope in the same way a gesture of caring can. Both are necessary. You can’t fix a problem with a hug, but you also can’t wipe a tear with a dollar bill (it’s not just a metaphor. That stuff really isn’t absorbent enough). We at Williston are giving a message of hope with our 1,000 crane project, as well as giving real tangible help to the displaced children of Japan.
We at Williston folded cranes last month in honor of the Japanese people who died from this natural disaster, and we sent them to Cranes for Kids by Oshkosh B’gosh. The children’s clothing company has promised to donate one article of clothing to the children of Japan for every crane they receive, up to a maximum of 50,000 pieces of clothing. The cranes represent health and best wishes to the people of Japan, while the clothes will provide comfort and warmth to the children who lost everything due to the tsunami and earthquake. Essentially, we’re providing the best of both worlds by providing hope, and backing that promise of better times to come with monetary, tangible help.
In addition to the crane-making extravaganza, we all met outdoors afterwards for a photo of us all standing in the shape of a heart. This part I didn’t really understand the use of, but the pictures turned out really cool and that’s the important thing. We were asked to all wear red so that the heart would be the typical red Valentine’s Day style, but only about half of us got the memo in time. A lot of people showed up in white, following Pastor Burt’s original instructions, and some came in any and every color of the spectrum, as not everyone has perfect memory when it comes to assigned fashion choices. However, when we actually were all standing together, this didn’t really matter for the picture. Those who remembered formed the outline, and those who didn’t provided the fill, and all in all the photo turned out really well.
Text and photos by Brendan Hellweg ’14