The GISH Hunt List was long and daunting, but our team #GoodMishaMigos, managed to complete 35 tasks. I know there are a lot of teams - the "In It To Win It" teams - who did a lot more than we did, but everyone on our team signed up just for fun and we all had fun.
We were an international team, we had two from Great Britain, two from Germany, and five of us from the States. The amount of artistic talent we had was amazing, excepting yours truly who can barely draw a stick figure, and the entire team was incredibly supportive of each other. I would say that the experience was very much like my experience with NaNoWriMo in that it broadened my horizons, forced me to meet people I wouldn't otherwise meet, and have a great time.
One of the tasks was to create GISHemon cards, which one of our teammates took on and I love how they turned out. It's a good example of the amount of creativity in our team.
When I registered for GISH, I just thought it would be a cool thing to do, but I didn't really realize the worldwide impact. Each year, the powers that be determine where in the world GISH is going to focus. This year, Laos. Before GISH even began, "we" (the GISHers) funded the clearing of unexploded ordinances from 25 farms in Laos.
Apparently, every year, there is a "mystery" charity that is announced halfway through the hunt and the money raised goes to the charity. This year, the Change A Life: Laos challenge was to raise $150,000 to send prosthetic technicians to Laos to fit children who had lost limbs with prostheses. In under 48 hours, the $150,000 was raised. I found that absolutely incredible, but the money kept coming in. The first $150,000 was earmarked for prostheses, but anything above that went to support a team of four women who remove unexploded bombs from farms and communities in Laos. We ended up raising an additional $80,000!
The focus wasn't just on helping people on the other side of the world, many of the GISH challenges involved helping our local communities, all while having fun. Countless donations were made to shelters, 10,000 trees were planted, and the world, for a week, was made a kinder, gentler place.
While I do not generally agree with Misha Collins' politics, I can 100% get behind the fact that instead of just whining that "someone needs to do something", he's putting his money where his mouth is, so to speak. He has come up with actionable plans to help both his (and our) local community and the world in general. I respect that 100%.
The lesson in this is that you don't have to agree with someone's politics to genuinely like and respect them.
I loved GISH and will continue to participate as long as it continues. I'll also do my best to recruit people to join. While I can't say it was life-changing for me, as some people have said, it certainly enriched my life and I'm happy to be one of Misha's Minions.