The original concept for One Thousand Cranes Foundation began with Elyse Roberts of Barrington Hills, Illinois, who believed passionately in a shared responsibility for the health and welfare of our children.
Elyse was particularly touched by the story of Sadako Sasaki, a young girl who suffered the devastating effects of Hiroshima. Sadako was inspired to follow a Japanese tradition – anyone with the patience and commitment to fold 1, 000 origami paper cranes will be granted their most desired wish, because they have exhibited the cranes’ loyalty and recreated their beauty. Sadako folded paper cranes in her hospital bed, praying for world peace. Sadako died when she was only 12, before she could finish 1, 000 cranes.
As a tribute to Sadako’s life and selfless wishes, her classmates folded the remaining cranes, and Sadako was buried with the full 1, 000 cranes. Her story stands as an inspiration to all, and a testament to the continued power of the paper crane as a compelling symbol for hope, love, honor, and peace for the world.
One Thousand Cranes is honored to advance its Vision and Mission in loving memory of Sadako and Elyse.