"I decided on March 14 that I no longer wanted to be just a passive observer," Jacobs wrote. "I was struggling to help [my children] understand the unbelievable tragedy we were seeing and hearing about. We all understood one thing very clearly however: the people of Japan needed help."
In Japan, origami cranes are a symbol of hope, and an ancient Japanese legend promises that the wish of anyone who folds 1,000 origami cranes will come true. Jacobs enlisted the help of her friends Karen Levy and Kristy Sebock and her daughter's fourth-grade teacher Ahnalisa Miller at Pacific Grove Elementary School to create a fundraising effort for Japan based on this legend.
The goal of this grassroots organization, One Million Cranes, is for children from 1,000 U.S. schools or groups to make 1,000 origami cranes and donate $1 for each crane they make. Then, these groups will collectively donate $1 million to the people of Japan through the American Red Cross relief efforts there.
According to their website, One Million Cranes chose the American Red Cross because "91 cents of every dollar goes to Japan."
So far, Pacific Grove Elementary School has raised $300, and two local businesses are supporting the effort. Twenty-two schools across the country -- from states as far flung as Hawaii, New York and Georgia -- have already joined the cause.
To register your school or organization, go here. One Million Cranes says any square sheet of paper can be used to make an origami crane and even provides a link to folding instructions and a tutorial video on YouTube.