Girls turn heartache into a positive cause
When Hu Li-ting, a native English-speaking teacher of Holy Angels Canossian School in Hung Hom, spotted an anonymous message on the wall outside the classroom, she was very moved.
The message, in broken English, said: 'Miss Hu, Japan the people are very hurt.' It was left on the Creative Wall outside a classroom after the magnitude-9 earthquake struck Japan in March, leaving thousands dead or missing.
It was at that moment the American teacher realised she must do something with the students to help the earthquake victims.
Hu found the girl who left the message, Cherie Lo Sum-wai, and with some other students, they decided to launch a school campaign to collect new socks for the victims and to make origami cranes with handwritten messages of support. The teacher left boxes of paper around the school for pupils in different classes to fold their cranes and write messages.
After just one week, the students had folded 2,064 paper cranes and collected 104 pairs of socks.
Ten-year-old Cherie said she left the message on the wall because she sympathised with the Japanese victims after seeing earthquake images on television.
'I don't want the victims to be so sad,' she said. 'I hope the cranes will help them feel a bit better.'
Classmate Ann Lam Wing-yan, nine, hoped the victims would remain strong, even though many might have lost family members. 'I feel happy and blessed to be able to do something for them,' she said.
The paper cranes were presented to the Japanese Consulate, and the socks were shipped to the Socks For Japan charity in Japan. The charity will distribute the new socks to the people there. They believe clean socks give people a sense of comfort.