Children of All Ages Come Together to Aid Japan
More than 2,000,000 origami cranes collected in a show of support
(3BL Media / theCSRfeed) ATLANTA, GA - May 25, 2011 - Children's apparel retailer OshKosh B'Gosh and its parent company, Carter's, Inc., today announced that it has received more than 2,000,000 origami cranes in response to its Cranes for Kids initiative and that it will donate $1.5 million worth of clothing to the children of Japan.
Cranes for Kids was created to help parents educate children about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and provide clothing to children affected by the disasters. The initiative was inspired by an ancient Japanese legend promising that anyone who folds 1,000 origami cranes will be granted a wish. OshKosh B'Gosh initially pledged to donate an article of clothing for each origami crane it received, up to 50,000 garments. Â Due to the overwhelming response, OshKosh B'Gosh announced it would increase this contribution to 80,000 articles of clothing.
"We are amazed by the response to Cranes for Kids," said Michael D. Casey, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Carter's, Inc. "We are humbled by the way people have come together to do good for others. Â This program has shown us the power of the human spirit and the compassion we all feel for each other, no matter the distance. We're happy that the strength of our iconic OshKosh B'Gosh brand world-wide has helped rally people to participate."
The program was first announced on the OshKosh B'Gosh Facebook page and website on March 29, where initial posts of encouragement multiplied quickly as messages, pictures, videos and cranes sent from individuals, schools, organizations and companies around the world poured in.
Below are some representative posts to the OshKosh B'Gosh Facebook page:
"1,000 cranes sent to me from my mother's group of friends at her Japanese club in Canada. The women who made these for the children are all in their 80's."
"The students of the Pope John Paul II Elementary School are proud to send 3,578 cranes to the Cranes for Kids drive."
"35 cranes from our family in Guadalajara, Mexico"
"Prayers, love and 27 cranes from Provo, UT."
It is the heartfelt, genuine emotion behind each crane submission that has been most powerful. Â In New York City, a mom rallied her daughter's school to participate and the children were so excited that they gave up their recess over the course of several weeks to make 7,000 cranes. Â In Baltimore, children of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Lower School exceeded their original goal of folding 1,000 cranes by creating more than 6,000 cranes as a symbol of their wishes for the safety and comfort of the people of Japan. Â In Michigan, the fifth grade class at Bellaire Elementary in Antrim County was inspired to make 1,000 paper cranes for Cranes for Kids after reading the book Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes.
More than 2,000,000 cranes and well-wishes came from near and far including Paraguay, Sudan, Australia, Ukraine and South Korea, among others.Â
The first 50,000 articles of clothing have been shipped to Japan and will be distributed to evacuation centers by Kids in Distressed Situations (K.I.D.S) partner organization, Operation Compassion: www.operationcompassion.org. Â The remaining 30,000 items will be sent later this summer.
"Children and families have lost everything in the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan, so providing them with a new outfit means the world to them," said Dr. Janice Weinman, President of K.I.D.S. Â "As we mobilize our global network of resources to aid in this massive relief effort, the generous support of companies like OshKosh B'Gosh will ensure that we are able to provide essential clothing that children and families need in order to begin rebuilding their lives."
The origami cranes collected are being shipped to Japan where they will be displayed in OshKosh B'Gosh stores throughout Japan beginning in June.
About Carter's, Inc.
Carter's, Inc. is a leading provider of apparel and related products exclusively for babies and young children. Â The Company owns Carter's and OshKosh B'Gosh, two of the most recognized children's apparel brands in the marketplace. Â These brands are sold in leading department stores, national chains, and specialty retailers domestically and internationally and through 500 Company-operated stores and on-line at carters.com and oshkoshbgosh.com. The Company's Child of Mine brand is available at Wal-mart, and its Genuine Kids, Just One You, and Precious Firsts brands are available at Target. Â Carter's is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. Â Additional information may be found at www.carters.com and www.oshkoshbgosh.com.
Celebrating 25 years in service, K.I.D.S. has provided over 65 million underprivileged and disaster-struck children with close to one billion dollars of new clothing, toys, basic necessities, juvenile products, books and much more. The donations of new products are distributed through an established network of nearly 1,000 local community social service agencies in the U.S. and abroad. K.I.D.S.' efforts reach youth, age 0-18, who are challenged by poverty, homelessness, domestic abuse, low literacy, military family service, major illness, incarcerated family members and disaster survival. More information about donating new products and supporting our work is available online at www.KIDSdonations.org.