Student to take 1,000 cranes to Japan

By Janelle Mathews

Campus Life Editor

Shannon Foss, a sophomore math­ematics major from White Salmon, Wash. is raising awareness about the story of Sadako Sasaki through the folding of peace cranes.

Foss and the Viterbo University Honors Program started the project last year at Courtyard Carni where a booth was set up for people to fold cranes. Foss then took the proj­ect into her own hands, and so far, people have folded about 250 cranes since last spring. Foss’ goal is to have 1,000 cranes by Easter time so that she can deliver them personally to the Children’s Peace Monument in Hiroshima, Japan, to honor Sa­saki.

Foss was first introduced to Sa­dako Sasaki by Sr. Laurice Heybl who is helping Foss reach her goal of 1,000 cranes. Sasaki was exposed to the atomic bomb at a very young age; however, it was not until nine years later that the after effects of the bomb kicked in. She was diagnosed with leukemia, and according to Foss, “she heard a Japanese legend that if you fold 1,000 peace cranes you will be granted one wish.” Sa­saki managed to fold 1,300, but her wish was never granted. Sasaki died two years later, but her story goes on.

“Sasaki’s family and friends were inspired by her hope and reaction to her illness in a positive way to keep folding the peace cranes,” Foss said. That is the message that she wants to relay onto others: a message of hope.

Foss has the opportunity to go to Japan and deliver the peace cranes in person during Easter break be­cause her father will be over there on business; however, the plane ticket costs around $1,600, so she is in the process of applying for travel grants.

Foss said that she “wants to be a part of something bigger and con­tribute to big projects in a small way, even if it is folding 1,000 cranes. Ev­ery little part matters.”

To try and reach her goal, Foss has been working with the Honors Leadership Board where she serves as the retreat and leadership coun­selor. She has made this project part of her personal mission and job de­scription as a part of that organiza­tion. Furthermore, Foss has talked to other organizations to see if they will help her with her goal by spon­soring a peace crane folding session.

If an organization chooses to help, it will get a special crane folded by Foss herself with the organization’s name on it that will be be displayed at the Children’s Peace Monument in Japan.

Foss’ goal is to make a difference in a small way through spreading Sasaki’s message of hope.

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