GISH is on a mission to wake up the world and change it for the weirder and better. Gishers make it happen. What’s a “Gisher”?
We’re glad you asked…
The elusive Gisher is a unique breed: they are notorious troublemakers out to tilt the world on its axis, cast out normalcy & replace it with unexpected moments of chaotic good.Here’s just a tiny sampling of the impact Gishers have made over the years since they were first identified as a species and catalogued in 2011 by Chief Rabble-Rouser Misha Collins whilst on an expedition through the mountains of Mongolia…
Mere days before the Taliban retook control of Kabul, Gishers helped raise funds for a children’s hospital treating victims of war and violence. EMERGENCY is an NGO and charity hospital that ensures all victims of conflict receive free, quality medical care. 1 in 4 Afghanis have been treated by EMERGENCY, and as the west pulls out of Afghanistan the need for this hospital, especially their children’s ward, was and is greater than ever.
The hospital, running without interference from either side of the conflict, became instrumental as the fighting mounted. In partnership with Random Acts, Legacy of War, and EMERGENCY, we set a goal of raising $100,000 to operate the children’s ward of EMERGENCY fully through the end of that year. Gishers showed up in force raising over $275,000.
In May of 2021, Gishers came together for a special “GISH Fest” event to benefit rural communities in India fighting the worst COVID-19 outbreak on the planet. Together, we were able to raise over 300% of our total goal, raising almost $80,000 in a day to provide PPE, hygiene kits, and food for struggling families in rural Indian communities, as well as provide 500 reusable oxygen concentrators to help rural hospitals to provide supportive care to thousands of patients fighting the insidious virus.
In March of 2021, Gishers around the globe came together during a weekend-long Hunt and raised over 111,000 to support eight communities of Indigenous Ecuadorians in their fight to recover after a devastating oil spill ruined their ancestral crop lands and poisoned their water supplies — right as the COVID pandemic ravaged their region. Together, the funds raised helped to provide over 20,000 masks, food baskets, PPE, and critical care needs to the communities as well as supplies needed to help them grow new crops and filter their water. Thank you.
In spite of a global pandemic, or maybe because of it, Gishers rose up as never before in 2020! Among their many successes, Gishers managed to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to fight for racial justice and equality, donated 50 years of clean water to over 7,000 people, and provided one million meals to kids impacted by COVID-related economic hardship and facing food insecurity.
Well done, Gishers. We’re so proud of you and can’t wait to see what you do in 2021. Bring it on!
Even a global pandemic could not deter dedicated Gishers from making a difference around the world. Amidst the COVID-19 crisis, they Hunted their hearts out to provide over 6,000 masks, PPE, and other resources for essential workers. But another was coming to a head: racial inequality and injustice. Undeterred, Gishers quickly swung into action on that front, too.
Over the course of just 25 hours, our community embarked on letter-writing campaigns, supported Black-owned businesses, and dedicated itself to raising money for the NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund. In total, over $180,000 dollars was raised to help lend a hand in the working toward the achievement of racial justice, equality, and building a more inclusive society that represents the needs of marginalized people.
In August 2019, Gishers heard the stories of Khiew, Pone, and Kayeng, children affected by dormant bombs scattered across their beautiful countryside. These children were innocent victims of a tragedy stemming back from decades in the past when hundreds of millions of bombs were dropped on Laos. 30% of those bombs never went off and over 20,000 people (including 8,000 children) have been injured or lost their lives from unexploded bombs.
Gishers came together to provide help in two important ways: 1. Defusing unexploded ordnance to stem the loss of life and limbs, and 2. Provide much-needed prosthetics for countless Laotian children and adults missing limbs. The result was nothing short of miraculous with over $250,000 raised for these efforts.
In August 2018, a rebellion of Gishers were rallied around an extraordinary group of women who survived the horrific Rwandan genocide and were trying to rebuild their lives. Working in collaboration with longtime GISH friend, photojournalist & activist Giles Duley, Gishers helped provide over 250 acres of farmland and resources to create markets of their own so these women could provide for themselves and their families. This newfound economic freedom will allow their families to live better, more independent lives.
In August 2017, Gishers came to the aid of “Dancescape”, a small dance school in South Africa. Reports indicate that they were drawn to the site to help grant the dying wish of a dance instructor whose life had been dedicated to helping at-risk young children break the cycle of poverty through dance. Gishers banded together with Random Acts to save the school and ensure that young people will have the chance to fulfill their dreams for generations to come.
Location: Lebanon and Syria
In August 2016, Gishers’ attention was caught by the humanitarian crisis in Syria. Working in partnership with and photojournalist, they worked to rescue four refugee families from desperate circumstances in a makeshift encampment in Lebanon. The families included a young mother who had been shot and paralyzed by a sniper, the family of a 12 year old girl who tried to end her life twice so her brothers would have enough to eat, a mother and child who had lost everything, and a small child with spinal bifida. (You can read more about their stories here.)
Through an impressive coordinated display of generosity by Gishers, over $215,000 was raised and all four families were moved out of the encampments into stable, long-term housing with plenty to eat, proper medical care, and the chance for the kids to return to school. The young girl who tried to end her life is now healthy and studying to be a doctor. More about her here!
Gishers were observed in another coordinated compassion display in 2014. Their attention was drawn to the family of an American soldier who had lost both of his legs and most of the use of one arm while fighting in Afghanistan. The soldier also was facing physical and psychological complications from trauma, and his wife suffers from arthritis and lupus and his son is autistic. The family was living in a garage and was in clear need of support, so Gishers rallied. Working with another charity that was building the family a home, Gishers and Random Acts collaborated to completely furnish the home and give the family a fresh start at a brighter future.
The first large-scale display of coordinated behavior of Gishers was reported in 2011. While on an exploratory expedition, field gishologists reported observing a worldwide pattern of Gisher activity centralized in the region of Jacmel, Haiti. In 2010, Haiti had suffered a catastrophic earthquake which had left hundreds of children orphaned and without resources.
It is theorized that this geological event had a magnetic effect on gishers worldwide, focusing their attention to the region and causing them to generate a sustained coordinated compassion display. In partnership with Random Acts, gishers* worked to help raise funds to build an orphanage and care center for the orphans of Haiti. Thanks in large part to gishers’ efforts, the Jacmel Children’s Center now stands strong in Haiti, giving a home, hope, and a brighter future to the orphans of Haiti. Learn more about the center here.
*previously misclassified as “gishwheseans”
Gisher: [GISH-er] (noun) 1. An individual with creative, courageous, or compassionate characteristics who participates in GISH games or the annual Hunt. 2. A member of the worldwide GISH family. 3. You— if you click here to sign up.
FAST FACTS: While Gishers can be observed in the wild year-round, they have a season of peak activity which lasts one week every year, usually in summer.