Japanese Culture Club: Small group, big heart
Published: Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, April 27, 2011 18:04
For the past few weeks Parkland College's Japanese Culture Club has been working diligently in order to raise money to aid Japan's earthquake and tsunami tragedy that occurred last March. They are doing so by collecting donations for the Red Cross with a paper origami crane campaign.
The idea of creating origami cranes for donations arose due to an ancient Japanese legend. "Originally we were making cranes for the ‘if you make one thousand cranes you get a wish' [legend]. So we all just started making as many cranes as we could," current club president, Alexandra Hughes explained. "And then we thought that since we were going to do a fundraiser, why don't we just give out a crane for each donation we get? So we started doing that." Hughes estimates that the amount of cranes that the Japanese Culture Club has created so far is between 500 and 600, with around 400 of these already given away to donors.
Since the beginning of the fundraiser, the club has come up with even more creative ideas to raise money for Japan. "We started making teeny [cranes], so we thought ‘let's make earrings out of them and sell those!' We've sold about 30 pairs of earrings already," said Hughes. The group is also considering making other origami animals to give away when people give a donation.
The Japanese Culture Club currently has no plans to end their fundraiser. In fact, the group continues to keep coming up with new approaches to raise money. "The first weekend in May they are starting the Farmers Market, so we are going to try and be there to sell the earrings," Hughes said. In addition to this, they are also contemplating about selling the earrings online on eBay.
In addition to raising money for Japan aid, the Japanese Culture Club are looking into helping out our local community. "Our advisor Kinoshita has brought up the idea of eventually finding a school to converse with and connect with. To help out throughout the rebuilding process," Hughes mentioned.
The club is designed for students who are interested in learning and experiencing Japanese culture. Every other Wednesday, the group partakes a special activity relating to culture. "The Japanese Culture Club is definitely educational," said Hughes. "We aim for the actual culture; not a bunch of anime and manga kids." As an example, Hughes mentioned a tea ceremony the group participated in this past Wednesday.
The Japanese Culture Club is a small group with a big heart. If you are interested in helping the Japanese Culture Club raise money for Japan, be sure to keep a look out for their table in the college center.