After the 2011 Japan earthquake, Nina Mahalingam remembered the old Japanese legend that anyone who folds a thousand paper cranes is granted a wish. She came up with the “Wish Upon a Crane” campaign so children can fold paper cranes for hope for their peers in Japan. Nina co-led campaigns in malls and also rallied youth worldwide (with help of family) using the Internet. Children from 12 countries responded by folding more than 9,000 cranes and raising $18,000 for this effort. These cranes are now part of a massive art sculpture unveiled in Japan’s Sendai Train Station on Jan 12, 2012.
Volunteering is not new to Nina, she started when she was only 5-years-old. She helps Lil’ MDGs hold regular workshops where families with young children can make pottery and stuffed animals for underprivileged children worldwide. Nina also helps collect books for libraries in poor countries. Nina has helped to hold four “Time to Clay” workshops in the past two years and donated more than 400 pieces of pottery (approximate value $5,000) to Child Health Services nutrition program (serving low-income children).
Her service to others doesn’t end there, she has also helped make 303 (approximate value $6,000) stuffed animals for children orphaned by HIV/AIDS in Uganda. In the process of directly impacting the lives of more than 600 children positively, she inspired more than 300 little children to help her.
Despite her young age, she has already made significant service contributions in our community and this is what makes her a Daily Point of Light.