The residents of Miyoshi City, sister city to Americus, Georgia, recorded this video to send birthday and get well wishes to their favorite American champion for peace, President Jimmy Carter. Within a 48 hour period, over 1000 paper cranes were folded and sent to the Mattie J.T. Stepanek Foundation to pass onto the President. President Carter watched the video with his wife Rosalynn and daughter Amy, and thoroughly enjoyed it, with Rosalynn clapping at the end! The cranes are now hanging in the sunroom of the Carter’s home in Plains, Georgia. The loving gesture of the residents of Miyoshi City brought smiles to their faces, and the Carters express their sincere gratitude to their friends in Japan.
Special thanks to Steve and Elizabeth Leeper, who were instrumental in filming the message and getting the paper cranes mailed out to Taraji. Steve was Chairperson of the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation from 2007 to 2013 and is a visiting professor at Hiroshima Jogakuin University and Nagasaki University. He now works primarily for the PEAC Institute and Peace Culture Village. He is the liaison in Japan for the Americus-Miyoshi City sister city exchange program, and Gayla Braziel is the Sumter County School District’s coordinator for the program. Ms. Braziel recently spoke about the sister city relationship at the 2021 Peace Day event held October 2 in Americus, Georgia. The Mattie J.T. Stepanek Foundation is proud to be #Partners4Peace with these amazing people!