Our Local Just-Us Girl Scouts Send a Message of Hope to their Fellow Girl Scouts in Japan

Posted: Aug 25, 2011

In early March of this year, five local Girl Scouts from our Just-Us Programs were deciding what to do for their “sisterhood” project, which requires Scouts to meet the needs of women and girls in a unique, lasting way. 

Then, on March 11, an 8.9 magnitude earthquake and staggering tsunami hit Japan.  The devastation that followed was unparalleled: within days, thousands were dead, and nuclear fallout loomed. 

After hearing about the disaster, the girls’ sisterhood project—to help the victims of the tragedy—was born. However, deciding exactly how to help required some consideration. While researching for their project, the girls read about how the Girl Scouts of Japan responded after the September 11th attacks.  They decided to reciprocate the good deed.

“I just felt really touched that they would do that for us, and that they cared so much,” said 12-year-old Dynasty, one of the girls who began the project. “I felt horrible for all of the people there and all of the things they lost… We really wanted to do something for them. That’s why I like the crane project.”

The girls learned how to fold origami cranes, and enlisted others to help.  A total of 39 Girl Scouts from our programs in Juvenile Detention Centers and transitional housing programs joined the original five and folded 1,000 cranes, with help from a few devoted staff.

The Girl Scouts who participated felt very strongly about the project’s significance.

“This is important to me because I know what it is to suffer and not have anything,” said Stephanie, one of the girls who contributed to the effort. “It made me feel good because I am helping other people, and helping them grow.”

The girls finished folding cranes on July 21, 2011, and they were mailed in early August. The special package arrived at a USA military base in Japan on August 16th, where American Girl Scouts delivered the cranes to their sister Girl Scouts of Japan.

When asked how she hopes the recipients feel when they see the cranes, Dynasty thoughtfully replied, “I hope they feel really touched, and I hope they are happy and know we care about them.”

One thing is clear with this project…Girl Scouts do a lot more than sell cookies,” says Markin with a smile, “they make the world a better place.”

GSACPC Staff Anna Markin, and Girl Scout Stephanie at Post Office delivering cranes to Japan

A Girl Scout of the USA presents origami cranes (not ours) to a Girl Scout of Japan. The Girl Scouts of Japan have received millions of cranes from around the world following the earthquake.