Thanks from Japan

  • Jan. 23, 2013 6:00 a.m.

By Jane Wilson–The Deputy Consul General of Japan has written a letter of thanks for the fundraising efforts of Literacy Haida Gwaii.”We would like to extend our sincere gratitude for you encouraging letter, and the lovely hand-written book of condolences, as well as the beautiful Senbazuru,” said Kinji Shinoda, the Deputy Consul. Mr. Shinoda went on to express gratitude for the fundraising and express concern for the state of the island’s coastline in the event that tsunami debris ends up here.The Literacy Haida Gwaii Society held a fundraiser after the Japanese tsunami of 2011 called Senbazuru of Hope (Senbazuru are origami cranes). The event showcased traditional Japanese games and skills demonstrations, and raised over $3,000 for disaster relief in Japan. Islanders attending the event also folded 1,000 Senbazuru. “In respect to the Japanese legend that a wish will be granted to anyone who folds a thousand paper cranes, the residents of Haida Gwaii have thus folded our one thousand and humbly wish for peace and healing for all our friends in Japan, especially those who have been badly affected by the earthquake,” said fundraiser organizer and Literacy Haida Gwaii executive director Beng Favreau in a letter to the consulate which she sent with the cranes. Ms Favreau said that figuring out where to send the money was easy, it went to the Lion’s club, but she wasn’t sure where to send the cranes and so sent them to the Japanese consulate.Ms Favreau said she was really quite surprised to get a letter from the consulate at all, much less such a nice one. “The idea when I started the fundraiser was just to think about how we could help them at the same time as working with the community to come up with some community learning tools,” she said. “They are not far away from us and such a thing actually can happen to us.”