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Monday, 08 September 2014 19:12

Origami 4 Charity - part 1

by  Mikey
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Quite a few years ago (probably about 10 by now), I wrote a very long article about how I felt I could make origami more meaningful for me. Here's an extract from it.......


I've been volunteering my time for worthy causes for nigh on thirty odd years and been practising origami for well over forty. I've often thought how these two interests of mine could be combined and to this affect, I list below some suggestions to put origami to more charitable practical use in the hope that it may inspire you, the reader, to take your hobby in a new and maybe more rewarding direction.


Simple Smiles


- There are various initiatives around the world which are set up to specifically write letters to very sick children in the hopes of bringing a smile to their faces. There is no commitment on your part to continue writing to a child and you can write to as many or as few children as you want. The inclusion of toys and gifts in these letters is encouraged. Maybe you could write a letter to one of these children and consider enclosing an origami action model or an origami symbol of love like a heart. Organisation suggestion: http://www.postpals.co.uk/


- In hospital, there are many medium to long term patients that my not have any or many relatives or friends to visit them. Why not consider contacting the hospital to get permission to give these patients an origami heart with an accompanying message like Thinking of You. It might go some way to lifting their spirits up at a time when theyre feeling pretty low. This idea could also be used for people in retirement homes.


- Similar to the previous idea of making origami hearts for hospital patients and residents of retirement home, why not do something along these lines for homeless people at Christmas time. Locate a food shelter that gives out food to homeless people at Christmas and offer to dish out some origami models in the shape of a Christmas Tree or Santa with the words Merry Christmas on it. Actually, why not do this all year round with just any old origami model. Place models on a BBQ skewer and invite people to take one when handing out food. Might bring a smile to the homeless people.


- There are many organisations out there that collect little toys, pens, pencils, soaps, gloves, hats etc. and collate them all into a shoebox ready to be shipped out to a needy or orphaned child. If you want to participate in such a scheme, then popping a Valentine Heart into the box might be a nice idea. Organisation suggestion - http://www.operationchristmaschild.org.uk/


- Contact shoebox for needy campaigns ie those organisations that ask you to collate small things in small boxes, to include origami hearts in or stuck on to the lid of the box. If it is OK, then why not start an initiative to ask other people to fold origami hearts where people would send you the heart, after which you would forward them on to the organisation for them then add to the heart to the box.


- To encourage people to contribute to the shoebox for needy campaigns, perhaps you can contact the organisation that run these initiatives and suggest to them that you could offer to make some quality origami models for shoebox donors as a thank you gift for the donor donating some items for shoeboxes. You never know it might encourage some people to donate items for a shoebox, whereas they might not have otherwise done.


- This next idea is mainly aimed at Westerners who are on holiday in mostly third world countries ie. anywhere where you stand out from the indigenous population. Why not make some simple origami action models eg. flapping bird, nodding dog and hand them out to children, especially those ones accompanied by their Mum and Dad. Maybe pick the kids who appear to come from poorer families. The smile youll get when you hand out the model and then demonstrate its action is priceless and also helps some way towards creating new international relations. By the way, the reason why its better to pick kids with parents is that firstly you get two smiles for the price of one and secondly, youre demonstrating that there's no ulterior motive behind your gesture. Being a tourist abroad also helps to bridge that suspicion gap that kids or parents might have as well.


- Spending time in hospital is no fun. Maybe you could start an initiative where hospital patients, who are well enough to be able to use their hands, could make some simple origami action models for sick children in the same hospital. This idea could kill two birds with one stone as it may relieve the boredom of adult patients, whilst bringing a smile to sick children. Obviously, youll have to liaise with the hospital on this one and also choose models that have simple instructions.


- In some hotels, cleaners sometimes fold your clean towels into swans, fans or whatever. Why not return the compliment with the clean towels you havent used and use your origami skill to fold it into something interesting. This is bound to bring a smile to the cleaners face, and although youll never see it, youll have the knowledge that you have potentially brightened up somebodys day.

Part 2 to follow....

2 comments

  • Comment Link Gerardo Tuesday, 09 September 2014 01:19 posted by Gerardo

    Such great ideas! I do hope people get inspired : )

    Like two years ago a friend and I helped in this charity. It was around Christmas; each volunteer was assigned as many kids as he or she wanted from a poor neighborhood. We were told their names and age. We requested two, a boy and a girl. We had to make a Christmas package with different things for each one. On a particular day all the volunteers were to meet the kids in different schools from the neighborhood, give them the packages, and play with them during the whole morning.

    I wanted to make both packages especial, so I folded this paper airplane for each one: http://videos.kidspot.com.au/videos/n37f2r09/how-to-make-a-ufo-paper-plane#video

    I made them in transparency sheets so they could last A LOT longer, but first I printed them with a cool alien spaceship-like texture and with their names. When they were ready, I packed each one inside one of my Two-piece envelopes.

    It was so worth it! They were very intrigued when they saw the envelopes and loved the airplanes when they discovered that each one had their respective names. We played throwing the airplanes around for a whiles, among other things. The girl was particularly good making it glide -you can't throw it like most airplanes-.

    That was an awesome morning =D

  • Comment Link Mikey Wednesday, 10 September 2014 20:16 posted by Mikey

    I've had many an experience with making origami models for kids around the estate I live on. Such wonderful smiles to behold.

    The experience you had though Gerardo is stuff that money simply can't buy :)

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