It was the best of the weird times
GISH. It’s a word I say often. It’s a word that inspires hope, creativity, inspiration, and philanthropy. It’s a word most people don’t know. In truth, GISH isn’t a formal word, it’s an acronym for the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt. It brings together people, who affectionately call themselves weirdos, from all over the world to create art, raise money, and engage in a week filled with artistic challenges.
Personally, I’ve participated in GISH for the past 6 years and find myself uttering “it seemed like a good idea at the time” in the midst of a glitter filled project every time. However, every year I end the week feeling invigorated and creatively fueled for the next year. There’s also the amazing philanthropic work. To date, GISH has saved a rain forest, donated over one million meals to kids in need, and built an orphanage in Haiti. Among their many other charitable items are those included with either the registration or as part of the hunt itself.
Yearly, items include donating blood, feminine products, and meals to those in need, as well as taking care of emergency service workers. Items also include using websites such as Crowdrise (now GoFundMe) to raise money for charities in need. In fact, the registration cost itself is a donation to the charity Random Acts which supports various causes in need.
So, while annually us GISHers bemoan GISH as “unreasonable pain and suffering,” it’s truly an inspiring annual journey a group of weirdos take together, doing good and charitable acts with an ecologically responsible art wake behind them.
Sam Kay is a stay-at-home mom of 4 who loves a good scary movie and a binge worthy TV show. She has competed in Gish for 6 years, achieving runner-up status in 2019 out of over a thousand teams.