Paper Crane Project in memory of woman who died of cancer spans the globe

LINCOLN, Maine. (WABI) - A local effort to recognize women who go above and beyond for their community has Tracie Murchinson of Lincoln in the spotlight.

It all started with a project she spearheaded to honor the memory of a dear friend she lost to cancer a year ago.

Tracie Murchison, Founder of The Paper Crane Project said, "The paper crane is a symbol of hope."

According to Japanese tradition, if you fold 1,000 cranes, you'll be granted a wish about your future life and health. Laci Hanken folded more than 800.

"When she was getting ready for her wedding when she was stressed, anxious."

Laci was 35-years-old when she died of Metastatic breast cancer. A kindness campaign in her honor is keeping her spirit alive.

"Just weren't ready to let her go. We continue to shine her light."

Started by her friend, Tracie Murchinson, a year ago, it's called the Paper Crane Project. For every act of kindness - leave behind a crane.

"We always have one handy in case something comes up. We're always paying for the people behind us, maybe pick up a coffee in the morning, just little things, leave a quarter in a candy machine."

Always there for others, Tracie said it embodies who Laci was.

"Just how compassionate she was and thoughtful of other people, and so, we want to be Laci like, we want other people to be Laci like, and we want the world to be Laci like."

A simple message of being kind spreading through Maine, the country, and beyond.

"I didn't expect to see paper cranes in Europe. People have made that happen, and it's been really nice to see that her memory is still alive, and her spirit is being spread everywhere."

No matter how big or small, it's something you can be part of.

"They feel that this little thing, even sometimes just the crane, just this little piece of paper, made my day, I can do that for somebody."

As the Paper Crane Project has grown, Tracie said it was her friend's outlook on life that has served as a guiding light.

"Her final words to us on her blog, take care of yourselves and each other and be kind, always."

Tracie is also a teacher. She said the project has made an impact in her 6th-grade classroom.

There's a basket full of cranes at the Lincoln Library, if you'd like one.

To learn more about the campaign, visit Paper Crane Project on Facebook.