Have you ever heard about the Legend of 1000 origami paper cranes? Ancient Japanese folklore promises to grant a single wish to anyone who folds a thousand paper cranes.

Well yesterday I came across the fan page, Thousand Paper Crane Project. Rich Greenhagen, a resident of Virginia Beach, has a unique goal.

He’s folding 1000 paper cranes to spread love around the world.

It started out as a poem, then became a story and then transformed into a love letter. Rich’s goal is to write a 1000 word love letter and send one word at a time out around the world, each on a single unique paper crane. The letter is already complete.

Now the hard part: he needs to get the words out into the world. Preferably around the world before February 14th.

He only asks that the stranger requesting a crane give their address to post the crane, and then when they receive it, take a picture of the word (folded inside the crane) so that when all 1000 cranes go out he will have a photograph of every word and will then finally reveal the love letter.

Now apparently he does have a wish in mind, but rather than this being a totally selfish act, he is sharing his journey with the world if they will jump on board and fly with the cranes.

Even if ultimately he envisions his wish being granted, already a ripple effect is happening.

Recently Rich got word from a friend that for each paper crane sent his friend will donate 10 cents to Child’s Play Charity and Rich has decided to match this donation as well. Child’s Play, started in 2003, consists of gamers around the world who have banded together to donate more than 7 million dollars worldwide to sick children in over 70 partner hospitals around the globe.

It’s simple to help and it’s an effortless way for you to start your new year helping others:

  1. Fan the page Thousand Paper Crane Project (Just so you can keep track of Rich’s progress)
  2. Send your mailing information to Rich at thousandcraneproject@gmail.com and let him know if you’d like 1, 2, or 3 cranes. He will not use your mailing information for anything other than sending out the cranes
  3. When you get your crane, take a picture of the word with a camera phone (or low resolution camera to keep the files small) and email it back to Rich at the same email address, thousandcraneproject@gmail.com
  4. Follow his blog on Tumblr to see the words uploaded in order to reveal the love letter.

Help Rich meet his goal, and create something bigger than a simple wish. Something that with my predictions will grow with the potential to reach out like the ripples that reach out when a rock is cast in a pond.