© 2011 Idaho Press-Tribune

CALDWELL — Sometimes the best things come in small packages. In the midst of the Japan disaster, a 5-year-old girl named Parker Bava from Caldwell approached her parents and said something had to be done to help.

Taking a piece from the history of Japan, where her father spent years as a child, Bava suggested they hold a Senbazuru — the folding of 1,000 cranes in hopes of receiving a single wish.

“Japan culture is extremely important to our family, and Parker wanted to find a way to help. When she sees people in pain, it gets to her, and she was able to come up with the 1,000 cranes idea,” Bava’s father, College of Idaho Dean of Enrollment Brian Bava, said. “It was a classic example of an acorn of an idea blossoming into a forest.”

With the personal connection at The C of I, Bava and the International Student Organization held the Senbazuru on Friday at the McCain Student Center.

“I was actually hoping to do something for St. Luke’s this summer and had 100 cranes already made, but then I heard Parker’s idea and got excited,” Krista Hafez, 20, a junior, said. “She had this idea as a kindergartner; I was never like that.”

Each crane took about a minute to make, and once they were perfected, each was strung onto a string with 39 others to be hung on campus. Donations were accepted for the American Red Cross either in the form of direct payment or by buying a crane for $1 each.

According to Bava and her family, the Senbazuru comes from an ancient Japanese legend that says a wish will be granted to anyone who folds 1,000 paper cranes. Often these are given as good-luck wishes at weddings or births, but they also are a strong symbol for world peace in Japanese culture.

Sadako Sasaki, a young girl who was exposed to radiation after the bombing of Hiroshima, folded cranes in hopes of getting well. She was buried with the 1,000 cranes surrounding her.

“My wish is that Japan will receive food and water,” Bava said.

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