Nova Scotia

Dartmouth boy making 1,000 paper cranes for Japan

Eight-year-old Aleks Burchill from Dartmouth, N.S. is raising money and making 1,000 paper cranes to send to Japan.

Eight-year-old Aleks Burchill from Dartmouth, N.S., is making 1,000 paper cranes as a fundraiser for Japan.

He said when he heard about the devastation there, he knew he wanted to do something to help.

"Even if you're a kid, you can make a difference," said Burchill.

His mother Heather told him of a Japanese tradition that says if someone folds 1,000 paper cranes within a year, a wish will come true. That's when the idea came to Burchill.

He decided if he could fold 1,000 paper cranes and have people donate $2 for each, he could raise $2,000.

"All the money will go to the Red Cross relief efforts in Japan," said Burchill.

The family dining room has become Burchill's origami headquarters and while his fundraiser is in its early days, the donations are coming in.

Burchill's father, Nick Burchill, admits he was skeptical when he heard his son's plans.

"Because he's eight years old, when he mentioned he wanted to do it, I thought he'd go to bed and forget about it. He didn't. It's really, really taken off quite well. I'm really, really proud of him."

Burchill's mother helped him start a Facebook page, called 1,000 white cranes for Japan.

"When something this big  happens, everyone wants to feel as though there's something they can do and you end up feeling so helpless. Especially the kids, and I think the kids being able to send their wish and feel as though they're able to share their thoughts, helps a little bit. Especially because so many kids are seeing things on the news," said Heather Burchill.

Each crane that Burchill makes will carry a wish for hope for Japan.

When all the cranes are finished, they will be strung together.

Burchill and his parents will deliver them to the Japanese embassy in Ottawa, then hope to make a big donation to the Canadian Red Cross.

Aleks Burchill isn't the only Canadian folding origami cranes for Japan.

On Friday evening and Saturday, the Japanese Society of Halifax will be making 1,000 paper cranes at the Halifax Seaport Market.

In P.E.I. a public event is being organized for the Charlottetown Confederation Court Mall, where on Saturday people will be making 1,000 paper cranes and donating money.

There are similar events taking place in Saskatchewan, Kelowna and Prince George, B.C.