Freshman transforms talent into fundraiser

Freshman Hikari Inaoka is trying to make a difference at Emmaus High School.

Since fifth grade, Inaoka has been folding paper into origami designs and decided to share and sell his creations at lunches, with all proceeds benefiting the Angel Network. Students could have purchased four different types of origami, ranging from 50 cents to $2.

“I sell icosahedrons, which are 20-pointed stars, smaller ones which are called octahedrons, modular boxes and cranes,” Inaoka said. “The money I gain from it, I give to the Angel Network which basically help families in need around Lehigh County [in the school district].”

While he is not an official part of the Angel Network, Inaoka wanted to help out his community and people less fortunate with one of his interests.

“I wanted to do something that would help other people who have to work everyday to just get food on their plates,” Inaoka said.

Inaoka’s two main reasons for starting origami are due to his Japanese lineage and the influence of his friend, Shannon Stewart. Since Stewart demonstrated how to fold a box, Inaoka has been practicing origami. In early Japanese history, origami was just for the noble. But in the Edo Period, origami became more accessible and was used as entertainment and a part of traditional culture.

Not only is origami fun to look at, but creating it has benefits. Folding origami can help students strengthen their knowledge in geometry, fractions, problem solving and thinking skills.

In a two day span, Inaoka made approximately $50-60 from selling origami to give to Angel Network, which is under his goal. He folded a total of 240 creations and hopes to sell 80 percent of them, which would total to about $200. Altogether, Inaoka has put in a total of 1,800 hours of work, with each icosahedron taking him 30 minutes to create. This fundraiser took place in the final week of April.

Inaoka wants to share his love for origami and has one piece of advice for Emmaus High School students from his experience. When he lost his device, Inaoka realized how much free time he had, and used that time to create origami.

“Origami is very fun and relaxing, and if you get off your device for one hour, you can make a very beautiful piece of origami,” said Inaoka.

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