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Cumberlands BCM makes paper cranes for disease and disaster relief


Members of the University of the Cumberlands Baptist Campus Ministries fold origami cranes for their Relay for Life team: 1,000 Cranes for Hope. This is the first Relay for Life that has taken place on the UC campus. The team folded 1,250 cranes, with each donation going to support the American Cancer Society and disaster relief in Japan.

Williamsburg, Ky.-- University of the Cumberlands Baptist Campus Ministries was heavily involved in the first Relay for Life event held on the campus of University of the Cumberlands on Friday, March 25.

According to Dean Whitaker, campus minister, the students in BCM set a goal of $1,000 to raise for the fight against cancer, and not only did they reach their goal, but exceeded it, raising $1,200 total.

“Our team was very energetic and ready to participate in everything,” Whitaker said.

The BCM relay team was named 1,000 Cranes for Hope, based on the Japanese legend that anyone who folds 1,000 paper cranes is granted a wish. By the end of the relay, the team had folded 1,250 cranes.

“It is of greatest importance that we as Christians are at the forefront in helping those who suffer,” Whitaker said. “Every family is touched in some way by this, and the relay itself was a powerful testimony to what can happen when diverse people unite toward a common goal of helping those suffering.”

In addition to the money raised for the American Cancer Society, Carrie Byrd, reference and instruction librarian at UC, found another way that the cranes could be used to help others: relief in Japan from the tragic earthquake and tsunami.

Byrd found an organization online called Students Rebuild: Paper Cranes for Japan. This organization will donate $2 to Architecture for Humanity’s reconstruction efforts in Japan. According to their website, once the organization reaches their 100,000 crane submission goal, the cranes will be woven into a piece of art and “used as a symbolic gift from students around the globe to Japanese youth.”

“In essence, BCM gave $2500 to help with reconstruction,” Whitaker said.

Relay for Life was a success on Cumberlands’ campus, raising over $10,000 to fight against cancer.