About Us

Our Origin

The original concept for One Thousand Cranes Foundation began with Elyse Roberts of Barrington Hills, Illinois, who believed passionately in a shared responsibility for the health and welfare of our children.

Elyse was particularly touched by the story of Sadako Sasaki, a young girl who suffered the devastating effects of Hiroshima. Sadako was inspired to follow a Japanese tradition – anyone with the patience and commitment to fold 1, 000 origami paper cranes will be granted their most desired wish, because they have exhibited the cranes’ loyalty and recreated their beauty. Sadako folded paper cranes in her hospital bed, praying for world peace. Sadako died when she was only 12, before she could finish 1, 000 cranes.

As a tribute to Sadako’s life and selfless wishes, her classmates folded the remaining cranes, and Sadako was buried with the full 1, 000 cranes. Her story stands as an inspiration to all, and a testament to the continued power of the paper crane as a compelling symbol for hope, love, honor, and peace for the world.

One Thousand Cranes is honored to advance its Vision and Mission in loving memory of Sadako and Elyse.

Our Vision

One Thousand Cranes Foundation is built on the insight drawn from a child’s perspective of the world – that in the face of all obstacles, the natural beauty around us must be valued and protected. Our interconnected programs promote a “health & healing cycle” that benefits all families and children, advancing the basic human rights to clean air, healthy food, and respect for nature.

Mission Statement

One Thousand Cranes Foundation is built upon two integrated and mutual missions.

1. The deadly nerve agent Sarin, known as “a pesticide for humans, ” has been outlawed by worldwide treaty for over 20 years. Incredibly, the biological descendants of Sarin, Organophosphate Pesticides (OPs), continue to be sprayed on millions of tons of food in the United States and throughout the world. Our programs will raise awareness of the Sarin Connection to Organophosphates and their clinically proven health threats, especially to developing children. We will wage grassroots action campaigns to educate the public, pressure industry to ban OPs, and encourage the switch to green-friendly alternatives.

2. Thousand Cranes Camp offers a series of one-week camp sessions in a beautiful natural setting, at no cost to campers and their families. The camp provides an atmosphere of love, kinship, and education, with an emphasis on promoting the sustainable cycle of growing and enjoying healthy food. The camp offers customized programs for children with serious illnesses, behavioral problems, and disadvantaged children, regardless of race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status. Surrounded by their peers and under the supervision of trained staff, campers enjoy the opportunities to meet new friends, learn new skills, appreciate nature, and enjoy the fun of simply being a kid.

Core Values

Our Organization is focused on improving the health and quality of life for all people. One Thousand Cranes culture will be comprised of individuals with a passion to help people and an innate desire to change the world.

The efforts of One Thousand Cranes will have global impact. Our ability to fulfill our mission will not happen without the time, care, and passion of our employees and volunteers, who embrace and celebrate diversity and impartiality, and care deeply about the common bond of humanity that unites us together.

One Thousand Cranes core values provide the foundation for the high standards to which we hold ourselves.
  • COMPASSION: We are dedicated to improving the planet and quality of life for all its children.
  • INNOVATION: We seek innovative solutions to create sustainable results and safeguard the planet for future generations.
  • INTEGRITY: We act with integrity, uphold the public’s trust and honor our promises.
  • ACCOUNTABILITY: We deliver on our mission and are accountable to donors.
  • RESPONSIBILITY: We are committed to ethical and responsible actions.
  • EXCELLENCE: We strive for excellence in all that we do.