Item 190 – Catchafire Virtual Volunteer Work

The most precious thing you can offer up to change the world is your time. Sign up here for at least ONE virtual volunteer opportunity & on your honor, donate at least one hour of your time before 2022. Submit a screenshot of the Catchafire welcome email as proof of completion.

Item 145 – Refuge Restrooms Contribution

33 US states introduced over 100 anti-trans bills in the 2021 legislative season, the majority of which were aimed at trans children, and the US isn’t alone: too many other countries have discriminatory policies against trans individuals! Of course, we know you’ll speak to your legislators about this, but in the meantime, trans folks need to be safe to live their lives. Download Refuge Restrooms (or go to their site) and add entries to confirmed safe bathrooms for trans and gender non-conforming individuals near you. You must actually confirm the location is trans-friendly! Submit a screenshot proving you added an entry.

Item 117 – Can Opener Key Donation

If there’s a key, then there must also be a lock: too many food banks get donations of canned goods, but that presumes that people experiencing homelessness have access to can openers. Help unlock access to food for people in need: donate a manual can opener decorated as a beautiful “key” along with some non-perishable food, if you CAN.

Item 70 – #CarbonCrush

(SIDE-BY-SIDE) We all brag about our social media follower count, but what we should really be bragging about is our (low) carbon footprint. Let’s make a game out of it: Calculate your carbon footprint. The calculator will also provide you with the number of trees you’d need to plant per year to offset your footprint. Post your carbon footprint and the number of “offset trees” on your social media (with the link above in the post as well) tagging 3 friends and challenging them to play #GISH #CarbonCrush with you. Write a one paragraph post describing how you will decrease your carbon footprint by 15% in the next year. Then, on your honor, after the hunt, implement your plan.

Item 58 – #RandomActs4Holli

The GISH and Random Acts communities just lost one of our own to cancer: Holli was a dear friend, Gisher, and volunteer. She was also a longtime champion for food equity, so we’re taking up the mantle: Sign up to volunteer or make a donation to , the food bank where Holli devoted her time, or your local food bank or a food equity program while wearing a crown of holly, real or manufactured. Post a photo of you in your crown with proof of your donation on social media tagging @randomactsorg, #GISH, and #RandomActs4Holli.

Item 30 – Change a Life – Kabul

CHANGE A LIFE. Playing with friends, going to school, or just spending time with family… for most children, that’s what the fabric of “normal” life looks like. But for the children of Afghanistan, “normal” life is also one where explosions and gunfire could rip their world apart at any moment, killing or maiming them and their loved ones. In the past 20 years, Afghan children have lived their entire lives in the shadow of the war, where air raid sirens are as commonplace as bedtime stories and they are more likely to be a victim than even a soldier— because when it comes to the destruction of war, it doesn’t matter how old you are. Bombs don’t discriminate. Neither do bullets.

90% of the victims of contemporary war are civilians, and though the western forces are withdrawing from Afghanistan, that’s actually exacerbating the danger to civilians. According to the U.N., Afghan civilians were killed or injured at record levels in the first half of 2021, with thousands wounded and over 1,600 civilians killed to date. 34% of those were children. As western forces withdraw and internal conflict between north and south escalates, those numbers are expected to rise and more children will be killed or experience devastating, life-changing injury.

Mdullah is such a child. Just 5 years old, he was walking to school when the bombs struck. Giles tells us how traumatic it was to wake up at age 39 realizing he had lost both his legs—no one should have to experience that, but especially not a 5 year old child! But that’s what Mdullah is experiencing. To compound matters, his parents cannot even visit the hospital to comfort him due to COVID restrictions. Innocent victims like Mdullah are who we will be helping.

YOUR MISSION. In partnership with Random Acts, Legacy of War, and EMERGENCY, we’re setting a goal of raising $100,000 to operate the children’s ward of EMERGENCY fully through the end of this year. EMERGENCY is an NGO and charity hospital that ensures all victims of conflict receive free, quality medical care. 1 in 4 Afghans have been treated by EMERGENCY, and as the west pulls out of Afghanistan the need for this hospital, especially their children’s ward, is expected to be greater than ever. No child should have to suffer from the effects of war, but together, we’ll be able to help 400-500 children to survive and heal. Join us and help ensure that humanitarian aid can be rendered to the most innocent of victims of war.

WHAT TO DO: Create a team fundraiser page here by clicking “Become A Fundraiser” and get at least 10 donations of a minimum of $10. WE ARE NOT ASKING YOU OR YOUR TEAMMATES TO DONATE. Rather, we ask that you reach out to the global community and your social networks to make a contribution. Then, submit a screenshot of your fundraiser showing 10 donations and the total amount donated to us for your points.

WHAT YOUR DONATIONS DO: Your donations will fund EMERGENCY’s children’s hospital so it can continue to treat children injured by war throughout 2021. This will allow the hospital, built on the grounds of a bombed kindergarten, to continue operation through the end of the year and help approximately 400-500 children through surgery, medical care, and rehabilitation. Because we’re GISH, we’re also setting aside funds to provide a stuffed animal to every child that is treated by emergency to act as an emotional support plushie. As so many of these child patients are orphaned or have parents that cannot visit them in hospital due to COVID restrictions, it’s our hope that this additional support will provide a little extra comfort.

Our GISH Ambassador, Giles, hadn’t returned to Afghanistan for 9 years due to his own personal traumas, but felt it was important to summon the courage to go back now to help share these children’s stories and assist them. We invite you to rise up as well to help us achieve our goal and support these kids and the good medical professionals who are working to help them heal. DONATIONS ARE 100% TAX-DEDUCTIBLE (for countries other than the U.S., deductions are contingent on your laws). 90% of the donations will benefit the Change-A-Life efforts with 10% to Random Acts’ General Fund to support random acts of kindness all over the world.

Donations are still accepted on our campaign page!

Item 199 – Wozdom Day 2 – Formula for Happiness

We’re all here because of Steve Wozniak. Why? He’s the co-founder of Apple and spearheaded the creation of the very first Apple personal computer. He was also the first to bring color to personal computers. So clearly without Steve, we wouldn’t have GISH… or at least it would otherwise be played with carrier pigeons for communication (many of which wouldn’t make it over the oceans). So actually, Steve has also saved millions of carrier pigeons from drowning (not sure why that’s not in Wikipedia). Anyway, it’s Steve’s birthday on the 11th of August, so we’ve decided to honor him with a little of the GISH Community’s creativity as a thank you for helping steward in personal computers as well as for saving so many carrier pigeons. He’s a prankster, so he’ll enjoy it. Your first Woz birthday item is: Have you ever heard of Woz’s happiness algorithm? No? Well, we’re about to blow your mind. Here’s his secret to happiness: Happiness = Smiles – Frowns. That’s it. It’s that simple… and it works. We think that algorithm will stand the test of time, but we’ve heard you have a better one! Have one person on your team write out their personal “formula for happiness’ in an equation (simple or complex) on a chalkboard, piece of paper, or artistically using flower petals, twigs, or stones and take a picture of it so we can read it. Post your image on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, and make sure to include the hashtags #GISH and #WozdomDay2! Then upload the original photo to us and include a link to your public post on social media in the comments!

Item 190 – Every Last One Volunteering

Remember how the United States is holding children, separated from their families, in cages at the border for the crime of asking for legal asylum? Yeah, we haven’t forgotten either. Sign up to volunteer remotely with Every Last One, an organization that helps advocate for the children and is guiding them out of detention and into the arms of their families when possible, or screened sponsors when not. Submit a screenshot of your completed volunteer form. (On your honor, follow through!)

Item 177 – #GISH4Equailty

The Black Lives Matter movement inspired a lot of people to take action to address the realities of police brutality and the oppression that people of color live within many parts of the world every day. Thousands of people from all walks of life have been protesting, but with shelter-in-place restrictions and health considerations due to COVID, not everybody who has wanted to attend a rally or protest has been able to do so. We’re changing that. We’re hosting a virtual rally: post an image of yourself holding a poster with a message supporting equality or calling for an end to police brutality. Tag it #GISH4Equality and encourage your friends and teammates to participate, too. Then, submit your photo grid of yourself with your poster as well as the photos of other friends and teammates that joined in. Please submit the original picture grid of yourselves with your posters, NOT a screenshot of your posts.

Item 169 – GISH International Forest 2020

(SIDE-BY-SIDE) Last year, we started the #GISH International Forest. (If you played last year, how are your trees doing? Check in on them regularly!) This year, we’re doubling-down on the challenge: plant at LEAST one tree for the #GISH International Forest — in person if you can safely do so, or through an organization like One Tree Planted, if you prefer. Then, start a tree in your own home from a seed. You can plant seeds from a citrus fruit, an avocado seed, pine cone seeds, etc. Show us a picture of your sapling and your seed being planted. (If you don’t have a way to safely plant a seedling, you can use One Tree Planted or another tree-planting site.)