Origami boxes memorialize people killed by guns.
Volunteers deliver 36,000 Soul Boxes—one for every person killed by gunfire in the United States in 2018—to the Oregon State Capitol in February 2019. (© 2019 Nathan V. Holden)
An average of 100 people a day are killed by gunfire in the United States, according to the Giffords Law Center. The Soul Box project is collecting one hand-folded origami box for every victim of gunfire to display in public spaces around the country. The project, which has spread throughout the country, was started by Portland, Oregon, artist Leslie Lee. Members of First Unitarian Church in Portland have contributed over 6,000 of the more than 76,000 collected so far; Wy’east UU Congregation in Portland has also participated. In fall 2020, volunteers will bring 200,000 Soul Boxes to the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
Learn more about the project at soulboxproject.org.
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Elaine McArdle is a UU World senior editor and a member of First Unitarian Church in Portland, Oregon. An award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of experience, she has also written for the Boston Globe, Harvard Law Bulletin, and others.