OU Sophomore Folds Origami “Cranes for Cancer”

According to ancient Japanese legend, folding 1000 paper cranes will bring good luck, and might even grant the folder a wish. Kevin Summerlin, the OU sophomore behind the new on-campus charity initiative Cranes for Cancer, definitely has a wish—that his paper-folding will “[raise] awareness about the importance of thoughtfulness and goodwill in helping people through hard times.”

Students can learn the Japanese art of origami while giving back by folding cranes to sell as symbols of hope and support for those suffering from cancer. Although origami is an ancient art, the idea that 1000 cranes bring luck is still popular around the world. From the paper crane-draped Ueno Toshogu Shrine in Japan, a monument to advocate peace between nations, to the true story of Sadako, a girl who folded cranes to be granted her wish for life after battling leukemia, the symbol of a paper crane is a harbinger of peace and luck in hard times.

Paper cranes hanging at the Toshogu Shrine in Tokyo

Kevin hopes to generate enough interest and awareness to form an origami club on campus, and eventually to raise money to aid cancer patients. His goal is not just to fundraise, but to be a call to action. Oglethorpe students trying to “make a life, make a living, make a difference” can support the Cranes for Cancer initiative by attending meetings every Wednesday at 6 p.m. in the Phase II lobby. All interested students are encouraged to come—from the newest beginners to the paper-folding masters—everyone is welcome!

Those who can’t make the meetings can help out by donating something a little out of ordinary—paper. Come fold cranes—for good luck and for a good cause!