When I was little, I loved origami. It was a quiet activity that required patience and attention, effectively keeping me occupied during long car rides or when my parents were busy. Over the years, I’ve folded hundreds of my favorite paper cranes and stars, but some of my most favorite memories are the times I folded fleets of paper boats.
I was inspired by a story my mom had shared with me about her childhood. When she was a little girl, there was a particularly bad typhoon that hit Taiwan, flooding the streets and the first floor of their home. It might sound like a nightmare, but for the children it was time to play in the water. My mom would sit on the couch, tuck her legs to keep them dry, and fold paper boats. Once she had a collection, she would carefully float them in the water, watching them drift around the living room. Wide-eyed, I thought that was the coolest thing ever. I was determined to build my own squadron.
Finally, when it rained hard enough in Southern California for the streets to be flooded, I couldn’t be more excited. I was ready. Grabbing an umbrella and my paper boats, I ran out into the rain to squat down next to the gutter. One by one I set my boats on a journey down the street. When the water was moving quickly, the boats would have a wild and rough ride. Other times, the water slowed and the boats would sail lazily down the stream as I followed alongside on the sidewalk. Soon, I was out of paper boats, but I was a very happy child.
As I grew up and became busy with school and life (plus Southern California wasn’t getting as much rain anymore), I forgot about that joy. In fact, I didn’t think about those paper boats until recently when I heard about an Indian beverage company, Paper Boat. The company is encouraging followers to relive their favorite childhood activity and remember “the simple pleasure of making a paper boat and setting it to sail in the nearest puddle.”
They are asking the public to put up a picture of their own paper boats on Instagram with the hashtag #FloatABoat. For every Instagram post, Paper Boat will put â‚¹20 towards supporting children’s primary education.
All the proceeds will go towards a West Bengal based humanitarian organization called Parivaar, an institution that works to provide total care and overall development of children from categories like orphans, girls highly vulnerable to exploitation, victimization and trafficking, street children, abandoned children, extremely impoverished children from tribal areas, etc.
#FloatABoat #PaperBoat priceless memories in a 10 rupee note. Foldâž¡clickâž¡shareâž¡donateâž¡nominate @kriscivilised @augustianjoanna @jerrysam777 For every pic with hashtag #floataboat, Paper Boat beverage company donates Rs. 20 for children’s education.
A photo posted by Isaac Jason (@ijason333) on
“Our Hope Floats campaign has deliberately been mounted on digital — especially social media — making it easy for everyone to participate in. Anyone, anywhere, with just a piece of paper, can hop aboard,” said Neeraj Kakkar, founder and CEO, Paper Boat.
So the race is on! Make a paper boat (or a hundred), upload a photo of it to Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #FloatABoat and relive some great childhood memories while helping other children create theirs.
Feature photo courtesy of lyssekiss.tumblr.com