CHICAGO
04/21/2011 04:27 pm ET Updated Jun 21, 2011

Multilingual Chicago Folding 1,000 Paper Cranes At Japan Earthquake Benefit

A language learning center in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood is taking on an ambitious project to benefit victims of the Japan earthquake and tsunami.

Multilingual Chicago is hoping to fold 1,000 origami cranes at a benefit event this weekend, donating them to businesses across the city to remind Chicagoans to continue to support the victims of the disaster.

So far, more than 50 people have RSVP’d for the event, according to Jennifer Yang, who is organizing the event. She is expecting many more to arrive at the door.

Local businesses have chipped in some donations to make the event more exciting. Murasaki Lounge donated a $150 gift certificate, which will be auctioned off; Ponzu Sushi in Lincoln Park has provided some food for the event; and Blick Art Supplies contributed origami paper.

In addition to the donated sushi and origami lessons, there will be traditional Japanese music, short basic-level Japanese language classes and a children’s room with family entertainment.

“Right after [the earthquake] happened, we wanted to do something,” said Hilary Hodge, MC’s director of programs and marketing. “A big part of our mission is a strong cultural focus, not just linguistic.”

Eventually, MC was approached by Unieros, an organization that organizes multicultural events around the city, with the idea for the thousand cranes. The two groups are co-sponsoring Saturday night’s event, which will run from 7 to 11 p.m. at the organization's headquarters at 2934 N. Milwaukee Ave.

MC is asking for a donation of at least $5 at the door, and will have computers set up to give more money directly to the cause. All proceeds from the event will go to the American Red Cross.