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.
“CHANGE A LIFE. This year, the Black Lives Matter movement helped cast a spotlight on the United States’ approach to criminal justice, highlighting ugly truths about a prison system badly in need of reform. The US criminal justice system disproportionately targets people of color, subjecting them to brutal, harrowing punishments that would be inhumane regardless of the alleged infraction that brought them behind bars — and many prisoners are detained and denied basic human rights behind bars despite being guilty of minor offenses or of no crime at all. Every year, over 600,000 people enter prison gates. Even more troubling, 10.6 million people cycle through local county jails each year. To complicate matters, the COVID-19 pandemic has turned correctional facilities into death camps. As cases spread through overcrowded prisons and jails, social distancing becomes impossible, masks and other personal protective equipment are scarce, access to alcohol-based hand sanitizer is often banned, and medical care has a long history of neglectful treatment. We’re going to try to do something to protect people at risk of oppression and human rights violations in the United States Criminal Justice System.
YOUR MISSION In partnership with the non-profit Misha Collins’ founded, Random Acts (a 501 (c)(3)), we’re setting a goal of raising $100,000 to help close prison doors and open doors of opportunity for people incarcerated in the United States who are being subjected to inhumane and unjust treatment. To be clear, this isn’t an issue of guilt or innocence; it’s a human rights issue. No person should face abuse or risk death due to a lack of adequate resources and proper, humane treatment. WHAT TO DO: Create a fundraiser page here and get at least 10 donations of a minimum of $5. 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 help fund Dream Corps’ efforts to “#cut50” — a bipartisan effort to cut crime and incarceration across all 50 states – while moving the needle toward criminal justice reform on several levels to create a more equitable and just system. Funds from this campaign will go to programs that: (1) create dignity and safety for incarcerated people. (2) provide critically needed policy change that expands life-saving treatment, testing, sanitation gear to protect those behind bars from the pandemic, (3) fight for badly-needed legislative prison reform that reduces incarceration and provides fair chances for people when they return to communities, and (4) support advocacy programs that help formerly incarcerated leaders share their experiences with those empowered to change the system – changing minds, hearts, and laws. We invite you to please join us in achieving our goal of raising 100,000 to help change the lives of people who experienced atrocities and prejudices similar to Pamela Winn. DONATIONS ARE 100% TAX DEDUCTIBLE AND 100% OF THE DONATIONS GO TO THESE EFFORTS (for countries other than the U.S., deductions are contingent on your laws).”
CHANGE A LIFE. Each year, Gishers come together to “Change A Life”, making a profound difference in the lives of people or communities facing extraordinary hardship. As most Gishers know by now, unexploded bombs are a significant problem in certain areas of Laos. Since the Vietnam war, over 20,000 people have been injured or killed – over 8,000 of those being children. These explosives lie dormant in fields and some rural areas. Often, a farmer will accidentally strike one, or a child will think it’s a ball and pick it up. One such boy, Kayeng, was injured after his cousins lit a fire to stay warm, You can learn more about his story here.
This year, GISH is teaming up with Random Acts (a 501(c)(3) nonprofit) and our GISH Ambassador, photographer Giles Duley, to help change the lives of Laotian children and families in what is our most ambitious Change A Life to date in two ways:
1. With your help, we’re going to continue clearing unexploded bombs from farmlands. Your support has already helped make hundreds of acres safe already for the children and families of Laos.
2. Our bigger initiative will help fund the manufacture of much-needed prosthetics for countless Laotian children and adults missing limbs. You’ll help provide limbs and arms for children so they can walk to school and play, and farmers so they can provide for themselves and their families. From the funds raised, we hope to improve the lives of thousands in Laos for years to come.
Visit the Crowdrise page here! CHANGE A LIFE DONATIONS ARE 100% TAX DEDUCTIBLE, AND 100% OF THE DONATIONS GOES TO THE THIS EFFORT (for countries other than the U.S., deductions are contingent on your laws).
Each year, Gishers come together to “Change A Life”, making a profound positive impact in the life of someone facing extraordinary hardship. In the past, you’ve helped a wounded warrior rebuild his family’s life, rescued homeless Syrian refugee families, and saved a ballet school in a poverty-ridden township South Africa to help at-risk students.
This year, Random Acts is teaming with GISH and Giles Duley’s Legacy of War to help change the lives of women who’ve survived incredible hardship and loss: survivors of genocide in Rwanda.
Together, we’re going to help a group of 100 hardworking women (many of them widowed from the genocide) build a sustainable farming cooperative and market, allowing them to achieve their dream of economic stability and independence. We need to raise $108,000. Let’s do it!
We’ve created a Crowdrise page here:
DONATIONS ARE 100% TAX DEDUCTIBLE, AND 100% OF THE DONATIONS GOES TO THE RWANDAN GENOCIDE SURVIVORS (for countries other than the U.S., deductions are contingent on your laws).
This may be for fake points in a silly scavenger hunt, but your donations really can make a difference in someone’s life, and are greatly appreciated.
CHANGE A LIFE
We’ve created a Crowdrise page here https://www.crowdrise.com/change-a-life-khoulouds-story. DONATIONS ARE 100% TAX DEDUCTIBLE AND 100% OF THE DONATIONS GOES TO THE FAMILIES. The Gishwhes Item is to create a fundraising “page” for your team, where family, friends and others can donate. Since this is Gishwhes and there’s always an extra twist with everything we do, here’s the deal: we also want you to get OTHERS to donate to your team’s crowdrise page. We know you don’t need “points” as an incentive to help these families, but since it is part of the Hunt, we want to maximize the power of these points to help: start a page and try to get at least 10 donations from people or businesses NOT on your team. You and your team members are welcome to donate to your campaign, but that is not a requirement for points— the Item requirement is to get at least 10 people to make a cumulative total of least 10 donations who are NOT on your team. There is no minimum for these donations, but let’s please encourage others to be generous so we can make a profound impact. SUBMIT a screenshot of your team’s page with a minimum of 10 donations on it. (To initially create a fundraising team, click the FUNDRAISE FOR THIS CAMPAIGN button.).
If for any reason your team is unable to (or chooses not to) join this crowdrise campaign, you may still get points for this Item by collecting goods or volunteering at least 2 hours of your time with any refugee aid organization that is providing relief to refugees. SUBMIT PROOF YOU HAVE DONE THIS. For example, Spark Ontario’s Warm Welcome program (http://www.findmyspark.ca/warmwelcome), Deutsche Kleiderstiftung (Clothing Foundation) in Germany (http://www.kleiderstiftung.de/kleidung-spenden/ ), or ref.connect’s cultural integration program (http://www.refconnect.de/de/about/konzept.html) in Germany. You do not need to use these specific programs to qualify for points; these are just examples— any legitimate organization helping refugees is acceptable. Thank you for being a part of this. We hope you join us in helping to change these families’ circumstances for the better and we will be sending Gishers updates on their situation in the coming months and years.
The hunt is now over, but your support is always appreciated! Khouloud and Khawla are two Syrian refugees whose families need our help. Check out our donation page for full details on their stories and donation links:
We would appreciate any amount you can give to this effort. Though this was technically a task in a silly scavenger hunt with a point value, the bigger point is to help out two (now four!) families in need. Any amount you can donate is appreciated, and makes a bigger difference than can be stated.