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Folding for Good: Origami Tribute to Sandy Hook

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A Year Later… Wishes Handwritten on Thousands of Cranes… Operation Sandy Hook: Peace to You

On Friday, December 14, 2012, a gunman entered Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut and murdered 20 school children and six teachers and administrators.

We published an invitation to the folders of the world on our Facebook page to join together in folding origami peace cranes. Possibly even 1,000 of them. An Origami Salami Holiday event planned for December 15 in Denver by Seb Tabares became the first public event for “Operation Sandy Hook: Peace to You.” Over the next several months, our origami friends around the world responded with over 10,000 origami cranes and projects incorporating the iconic origami crane.

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Over the year, we have not ceased to think about the happenings of Sandy Hook, and pondered what this meant overall, and to our mission as well. Many of the cranes came from schools where leadership took the opportunity to build whole multi-disciplinary modules around learning how to fold the origami crane, and then do good with it, and also help students and parents overcome fear and anxieties about the daily routine of going to that place that is school.

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People designed original origami models and later published instructions; new origami clubs were begun in at least six schools; people from  Ireland, Germany, Australia, Japan, Hungary, the Philippines, Panama, England, India, Italy, England, Africa and the United States of America participated; many wrote prayers, thoughts, and wishes in their cranes.Families got together and learned the crane too, some folding hundreds. Others were folded by people overcoming their own more personal issues—one in hospital recovering from leukemia treatments, one passing on a family sanbazuru commemorating the passing of an infant family member. It wasn’t an inexpensive undertaking either. Pretty origami papers can cost! Many learners practiced on copy paper until the folding was just right; in fact, one future Origami Salami leader test folded over 100 cranes, but only sent in the best ones. Wordpress 7Mailing was the most expensive item, especially international shipments. Some international participants sent theirs to the United States in the suitcases of travelers; others sent photos and are still figuring how to afford the mail costs. Folders in one country petitioned local government to subsidize mail costs. I rented out a Post Office Box to receive it all. As I realized that my cell phone photos were not reproducible, I needed a photographer to assist with quality archiving too.

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The efforts of the thousands of people who participated made news from Galway, Ireland to Jonesboro, Tennessee. Crane projects figured into our “Liberty Treehouse” segment (an educational program on GBC-TV in the United States—our story is still in edit and queue); on KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh, PA; and at the 2013 Ohio Paper Folders Annual Convention in Columbus.

These treasures became the subject of an October 3-November 7, 2013 exhibit at the world class Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where folks believe in doing good with science too.

The leadership of Origami Salami and Folding for Good nearly doubled. And our able and talented leaders staged group events in their homes, clubs, and communities.

Great contacts have been made with officials in Sandy Hook Elementary. A new school will be constructed—the old one is being razed. Ours is a project of great hope, universal empathy, and solidarity. I think we will wait for that new school to conclude these efforts.

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Links to our photo archives are below, along with a listing of many of the organizations which participated and supported us. The many individuals persons are noted in or Facebook archive.

For more about Folding for Good’s “Operation Sandy Hook: Peace to You,” please visit our Facebook photo album archives:

Thank you to everyone who participated in this initiative, including:

  • About.com/origami by Dana Hinders
  • Albany High School,
  • Baden Academy
  • Beaver County STEM Advocacy Coalition
  • Breanna Kristian Photography and Design
  • Budapest Origami Club
  • Carnegie Science Center, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Centro para el Desarrollo Infantil Jerome Bruner
  • Claregalway Educate Together N.S., Claregalway, Ireland
  • Colorado Association for Gifted and Talented
  • Creek Elementary School, Muskogee, Oklahoma
  • Cub Scout Pack 327, Ridgewood, New York
  • Davidson Institute for Talent Development
  • Debrecen Origami Club
  • EIC-TV Network
  • Fred Miller Photography
  • Girl Scout Troop 4102
  • Girl Scout Cadette Troop 4076
  • Grow a Generation
  • Grupo Origami Niteroi
  • HLN-TV : http://www.hlntv.com/article/2012/12/19/acts-kindness-sandy-hook-shooting
  • Homeschool Math by Hand
  • Japan America Society of Pennsylvania
  • KooDooZ
  • Lamar School Sixth Grade, Jonesborough, Tennessee
  • Magyar Origami Kor—Hungarian Origami Society
  • Math-Explosion, by Nick Johnson
  • Midland Elementary School
  • Ms. Feinberg’s Sixth Grade Class, State College
  • NAGC Britain
  • Neel Elementary School, Midland, PA
  • Ohio Paper Folders
  • Origami Club of Pittsburgh
  • Origami for Africa
  • Origami Italia
  • Origami Panama
  • Origami USA
  • Origami, Krigami Y PaperCraft(HN)
  • PA Cyber Charter School
  • Painting Paradise, Kauai, Hawaii
  • Pine-Richland Patch
  • Pittsburgh Today Live! KDKA-TV, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Right Side of the Curve
  • Scoil Bhride, Shantalla, Galway, Ireland
  • Scoil Chaitriona Senior, Renmore, Galway, Ireland
  • Scoil Chaomain, Inis Oirr, Ireland
  • Scoil Chroi Iosa, Galway, Ireland
  • Seton Hall University, Office of Housing and Residence Life
  • Southampton Intermediate School, Southampton, New York
  • St. Mathias Elementary, Ridgewood, New York
  • Supporting Gifted Learners
  • The Helpful Art Teacher
  • United States-Japan Foundation
  • University of Pittsburgh Origami Club

If I have left any organizations out, please let me know. Individuals are too numerous to list here—but are listed in other archives. Thanks.

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Extraordinary Teacher from Galway Ireland Offers Help, Folds for Good

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These 26 peace cranes were folded by a very special elementary teacher and origamist in Galway, Ireland!
Thank-you Mr. Thomas Cuffe. And an extra thank you for your comments and encouragement:) Teachers are awesome:)