Following last Friday's shipping deadline for the Paper Cranes for Japan Initiative, the Students Rebuild crew finds itself delightfully inundated with international support for Japan recovery.
Over the weekend, Students Rebuild counted its 500,000th crane for the challenge. Today they hit 610,000. Initially, Students Rebuild and DoSomething.org put a call out for 100,000 cranes–each crane received by Students Rebuild would add $2 to a matching donation from the Bezos Family Foundation, it soon became apparent that there would be far greater support.
This past week, Students Rebuild, based in Seattle, Washington, started receiving 50 boxes of cranes a day...then 100...then 200...posted from over 20 countries (including Haiti), 7 Canadian provinces, and every state in the Union. Students Rebuild brought on two full-time interns to help count boxes that hadn't specified quantities, and the postal worker is reported to remain in good spirits, at times folding cranes himself.
Early on Monday, April 18, in response to this incredible outpouring of support, the Bezos Family Foundation announced they will double their commitment to Japan, now giving $400,000 to Architecture for Humanity for recovery efforts.
"It’s Monday morning, and the boxes of cranes are stacked floor to ceiling, filling our entire lobby. And hallway. And now an empty office space downstairs," Jackie Bezos writes "Clearly, the support for this project has exceeded our wildest expectations. If there’s any doubt that young people want to contribute, here is the overwhelming evidence."
For those crane folders who weren't able to reach the deadline, Students Rebuild has identified a Million Crane Project being run by Princeton that is continuing the challenge into May. Meanwhile Students Rebuild headquarters will continue to receive this week boxes from around the world...and maybe a million isn't such a far cry for the Students Rebuild initiative either!
We will be working with artists to take 100,000 of the cranes to create a sculpture to be placed in the school we are repairing with funds raised through this initiative. For kids, By kids.