I’m writing this from beyond the grave. The cause of death? Sheer exhaustion from participating in G.I.S.H.W.H.E.S aka The Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World has Ever Seen!
You may (or may not, bahaha) have noticed that I have been slightly MIA this past week, and that is because literally every waking second (and some sleeping… I had some weird dreams) was spent doing wacky, weird, and kind acts to benefit the charity run by Misha Collins called Random Acts.
Now, Misha Collins is one of my favorite sadists on the planet. If you don’t know who that is, he plays Castiel on Supernatural.
Is played by this guy:
Random Acts is a charity dedicated to improving the world one random act of kindness at a time, and they are one of my favorite charities. G.I.S.H.W.H.E.S is their biggest event every year and it goes a little something like this:
-Registration opens (you can register for $19.00 but if you genuinely can’t spare that, you can apply for a scholarship and someone else will pay for you)
-You are put into teams of 15, unless you already have a team built. Last year I was in a mash up team, this year my team was already made when we registered (GO SPRINKLES!!)
-You can choose to be on a competitive team, in which you pull out all the stops in the quest for the glory of being the top team and to win an all expenses paid trip with Misha Collins, or to be in a more laid back team where you participate just for the sake of fun. This is a new feature this year, and it’s great.
-When the hunt begins: A list of about 200 items, give or take, drops online and you pale and panic, thinking there is no way you can do any of these.
-You spend the next week discovering (or rediscovering) your creative, generous, and ridiculous sides.
-Your family and friends think you’ve lost your mind (I spent a good part of last week searching for a goat and a boat, an astronaut I could do the airplane with, and someone who would let me milk a cow in their living room)
-Misha adds items during the week, and you are either too exhausted to get upset, or are so excited for more things to do.
-You make the world a weirder, more wonderful place.
-The week ends and you’re exhausted. But you’ve made some great friends (or became closer to current ones), and you start counting down the days until next year.
This past week, I was not allowed to type, say, or take photos of kale… I wasn’t allowed to drink water that was above room temperature…and my team and I did some things I am so very proud of.
I’m showing off some of the items my team and I did this year to show you what we’ve been up to:
Some are silly:
Item: Rainbow teeth:
Item: Have a child under 7 choose your outfit, do your makeup, and fix your hair. Then go grocery shopping with them.
Some are… a bit unusual:
Item: Oil and water don’t mix, but in this case we’ll make an exception. Paint a portrait of a live model while both you and the model are scuba diving. Your subject(s) must be wearing formal attire and you must be wearing a beret while at your easel.
Item: On a desolate, dusty prairie, a ranch hand rescues the local school marm from a runaway horse. Create a drawing of Misha & the Queen of England in the Wild West. (You pick who plays the school marm and who plays the ranch hand.)
Some are to raise awareness and spreading kindness:
Item: Vice Presidential candidate, Mike Pence, said “smoking doesn’t kill.” …Take a picture of yourself in front of the tombstone of someone who died from a smoking-related disease. Tweet the image with, “Hey @Mike_Pence #quitblowingsmokeabouttobacco. Screenshot the post. – Hilary Swank
Item: The morning commute can be such a drag! Let’s help commuters get the day off to a good start. Distribute free coffee at a bus stop dressed as a chic butler, waiter or waitress during morning rush hour
Some promote self love and community:
Item: Beauty is on the inside. Photoshop a revised version of your reflection in a mirror. Show us a photo of you standing in front of a mirror. But the reflection we see is what you look like on the inside. Interpret this however you like with the caption on the image: “Beauty is on the inside.”
Item: Meet up (reach out over social media to find gishers in your area) with AT LEAST 5 other Gishers that aren’t on your team at a bus stop and, together, decorate the bus stop with post-it notes inscribed with a mix of delightful, surreal, and uplifting messages. One must read, “Be the unicorn you want to see in the world.”
And some items change lives… forever:
CHANGE A LIFE. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), 4.8 million people have fled Syria since the civil war began in 2011. (Over 6 million others are internally displaced within Syria.) Many of these families are living in tent cities and encampments with very few resources and very difficult lives. Gishwhes and Random Acts would like to team with Gishers across the globe to help change the lives of FOUR families in particularly dire circumstances in refugee camps in Lebanon.
There is still time to donate, but I’m so proud of my GISH family for raising over $200k in TWO DAYS to help these families!
I am not exaggerating when I say that this scavenger hunt has changed my life. Last year, I was on a team where a few members played, and played hard while the others went missing. It was during last year’s hunt that I met my team for this year. I met some of the most wonderful people I know through GIshWhes, and we had a great hunt. They have become my best friends over the past year, and for that, I will always be grateful to Misha Collins.
The hunt is over this year, but you can learn more and prepare next year at gishwhes.com!!
and just for fun… here is me trying to paint like Bob Ross:
All Photos Courtesy of Team Sprinkles – Meg Griffin