When Santa Clara High School senior Angelina Vuong reported to her job about two weeks ago, a heavy piece of machinery dropped down on her head. She suffered life-threatening trauma. Although Vuong recently woke up from a coma and is in good spirits, she faces medical challenges. Students from Santa Clara High School have embarked on a campaign to fold 1,000 paper cranes for Vuong, who once lived in Japan.
“There’s a Japanese legend that says if a sick person folds a thousand paper cranes, the gods will make her well again; I’m reading this from the children’s book Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes,” says Kathy Hopp, one of Vuong’s teachers overseeing the project. “Since Angelina isn’t able to fold the cranes herself, we wanted to help her out. When we get to 1,000 cranes, we are going to string them together and take them to Angelina’s hospital room. We are now past 800 cranes. I think we’re going to hit a thousand cranes this week.”
“Angelina is somebody that almost every student at the school is familiar with because she has a beautiful voice and sings at all of our rallies,” Hopp continues. “She was super involved at school and excited about her future. She has been accepted into more than one college and she was choosing between two schools.”
Hopp credits P.E. teachers Dee Dee Kiyota and Julie Kawamoto for the support they have extended to Vuong’s family during this difficult time. Both teachers had their students fold cranes in the gym when it rained last week. Vuong’s friends and classmates have been busy folding cranes as well.
“It doesn’t matter how many cranes you fold because it’s the thought that counts,” says senior Amy Jung. “I really hope Angelina gets better because it’s the end of senior year and she has been doing really well in school.”
“I just hope Angelina makes it through this; I know this is difficult for her and her parents,” says senior Halleah Ghamrawi. “I’ve lost count of the number of cranes I folded for her. Some people come in during lunch and I teach them how to fold the cranes.”
“I’ve known Angelina since tenth grade after she moved here from Japan,” says Vincent Hang. “I folded many cranes, just like everyone else who has volunteered. When I fold the cranes, I feel hopeful that things will be alright.”
The Santa Clara Firefighters Foundation set up a fund to assist Vuong’s family. To donate, visit http://www.santaclarafirefightersfoundation.org. Click on the link “Support the Foundation” and mention Vuong in the donation note.