Community members reach goal of 1,000 folded paper cranes to promote peace, kindness

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The finished product of 1,000 cranes
The finished product of 1,000 cranes

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – It’s difficult to make sense of everything that’s happened in the past week, but Huntsville resident Frances Akridge is trying. She is using her knowledge of making paper cranes to help others.

“As I fold, I’m praying for empathy,” Akridge said.

Akridge has learned origami keeps her optimistic.

“We don’t take the time to be quiet and pensive,” Akridge said. “We know that being quiet in your mind is healing.”

Her goal was to fold 1,000 paper cranes, because tradition says if you make 1,000 peace cranes a year it will bring you good luck. She and the others who contributed to that goal reached it in late July.

Akridge said she wants to help others heal too.

“Not to align ourselves with just one particular group, it was just, let’s let people know, especially police officers here, that we’re thinking of them,” Akridge said.

Akridge invited neighbors in her Huntsville neighborhood to join her in folding the paper cranes for peace. Kristen Shields is a wife, mother and Scout leader who wanted to help.

“I like to encourage community service with them and the best way to do that is to get out there, and do it ourselves so it’s modeled,” Shields said.

For Judy Core, the paper cranes’ purpose is personal.

“My grandson is a police officer and I wanted to do this for him,” Core said.

These wings will spread over our community soon, though they have not decided where. Wherever they’re placed, Akridge hopes they spread faith, hope and love to all.

“The weather releases that, in the new age speak, good energy, to the world or our prayers to the world.”

Citywide contributions are still welcome.  You can make cranes at home and deliver them to the front desk of the Optimist Recreation Center, located at 703 Oakwood Avenue.   You don’t have to use origami paper, either – some people are using old glossy magazine pages, cut to a 6×6 size.

Here is a video of how to make an origami crane:

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