1,000 cranes and counting

The Oswego State junior who set out to fold 1,000 paper cranes and collect $1,000 for the relief effort in Japan reached her goal last Friday, just 19 days after she began.

It took Amanda Woomer 19 days to reach her $1,000 goal. It was three weeks to the day that a 9.0 magnitude earthquake devastated Japan. Woomer worked almost single-handedly to fold the 1,000 paper cranes, which she finished Monday afternoon.

"This is incredible, this is ridiculous. I did not expect it to happen at all," Woomer said "I didn’t think it was necessarily possible to even get that far."

Now that she has reached her goal, however, the Tonawanda native isn’t resting on her laurels. Woomer has decided to continue the fundraising effort until May 11, exactly two months after the earthquake hit Japan. She said she would like to collect another $1,000 by semester’s end, but hasn’t ruled out raising even more.

"Who’s to say where it can stop?" Woomer said.

The anthropology major is looking forward to a short break from constantly producing cranes and said she plans to recruit help folding the intricate origami now that she has hit the 1,000 mark. The last days of the fundraiser took up an exceedingly large amount of Woomer’s time. There were hours spent at a table in the Campus Center collecting donations and a stint at International Day. Then there was the folding of the actual cranes, writing names on the tiny wings and organizing the donations.

The donations came pouring in. During last Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday in the Campus Center, Woomer collected more than $500. By Friday, Woomer had collected $890 and an admissions open house brought a slew of prospective donors through the Campus Center and past her table, which helped her hit her goal. Many parents put $20 bills into the collection jar as they passed the table.

Woomer’s parents, who donated to the crane fundraiser, were relieved their daughter had finally reached her goal.

"They were very proud and my mom was relieved that I had reached my goal so now I wouldn’t be so focused on it," Woomer said

Woomer had another reason to be relieved she met her goal. Her uncle said he would make a donation to cover the difference if she didn’t reach $1,000. She was worried he might have to donate several hundred dollars. In fact, the fundraiser has brought in $1,200 to date. Woomer received a few more donations in the mail.

How to donate

What: A $1 donation will sponsor a handmade paper crane. Sponsors can have their name or a special message written on the wing of the crane.

How: To sponsor a crane, contact Amanda Woomer at woomer@oswego.edu, find her on Facebook or stop by Hart Hall.