26/52 – Misha Collins

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​Each month I have tried to use one of my new 52 weeks to talk about a person or personality who has been an influence on my life. In past weeks, I’ve talked about the Blessed Mother, Mary, journalist Ezra Klein, artist and author Brother Mickey McGrath, writer and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda, writer and actress Carrie Fisher, and St. Elen of Caernarfon.

With Gishwhes beginning at the end of this week, I thought that I would briefly introduce this audience to Misha Collins. 

I became aware of Misha through a friend of mine who convinced me to join his gishwhes team, which ended up being all full up. That’s another story, though. Gishwhes is the acronym for its description: the greatest international scavenger hunt the world has ever seen. Misha pronounces it gish-ways; I pronounce it gish-weeeessss.

In addition to Gishwhes being a scavenger hunt, it is also an opportunity to move out of your comfort zone by being creative, artistic, and kind. Part of the fun of gishwhes is trying new things, meeting new people, working together as a team even if you never meet them, and connecting through art and kindness.

Misha’s an actor who I’ve seen several times before although I don’t remember any of the ones before Supernatural.

He’s married and he and his wife, Dr. Victoria Vantoch have two children. They live primarily in California, but also spend a large chunk of the year in Vancouver where Supernatural films.

Misha began the charity, Random Acts in 2009, showing his fans how to direct their energy to  make lives better by doing small, seemingly insignificant things, but that were huge things for the families involved, and of course, as anyone who does any kind of volunteer work knows, it gives great joy for the person on the giving end of things.

Some of the bigger things that Random Acts has done over the years has been bringing hope to Jacmel, Haiti after the island’s devastating earthquake, building a free high school in Nicaragua. Last year, they helped two Syrian refugee families, and this year they began a crisis support network to help those in danger of suicide and self-harm. Sometimes, all you need is someone to talk to at the right time. it doesn’t make it all better, but it does help.

Recently, he’s been involved in political issues like resisting the current Administration’s and Congress’ rollback of civil rights and environmental protections, and encouraging petitions and supporting candidates across the country. Many would say that this isn’t the role of a mere actor, but this is not out of the realm of his skill set. Of course, any member of society can and should involve themselves in politics and political causes, but in his case for the many naysayers out there, he went to the University of Chicago for public policy, and was an intern at the White House during the Clinton years.

I attribute what I did yesterday with my kids directly or indirectly to Misha’s influence as well as my experiences in Gishwhes. I saw a friend’s post on Facebook about something going on in the capital. I thought that it would be fun to visit, and maybe I’d take the kids on Friday or sometime next week. I looked at the clock, pretty much decided to miss church, and go back to sleep when I was jolted. It wasn’t anything paranormal or a voice in my head, but suddenly, I was bolting out of bed, waking my two youngest kids, telling them they had ten minutes to be ready: we were going to church, breakfast at McDonald’s, and then a huge surprise.

They were not terribly put off, although they don’t usually go with me to church, and they really don’t like it very much, but they didn’t argue, they didn’t badger me about what the surprise was, and to be honest, they were extraordinarily well behaved and cooperative all throughout the day, never once complaining about the heat or that they were hungry.

I’m not sure i would have had the energy or the wherewithal to just get up and go like that if I hadn’t been participating in Gishwhes for the past five years. It wasn’t as though I was doing anything crazy; just a little out of the ordinary.

And that’s what I should be teaching my kids. There are times for order, and there are times for spontaneity and surprises. Except for breakfast (and the subsequent parking ticket), this was a free day. And it was so inexpensive that I treated them to another surprise on the way home: 50c Frosties at Wendy’s.

Misha Collins is that bee in your bonnet, Mona Lisa smile, Jiminy Cricket, and he’s the friend who pushes you just a little, but holds on so you don’t fall. And he’ll bring the band-aids.

Advent Calendar of Kindness

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Despite it being the fourth day of Advent, this Random Acts of Christmas Kindness countdown began yesterday and goes through December until Christmas Eve. I haven’t read all of them but at first glance they all seem very doable.

I’m definitely going to try this myself and give copies to my kids and see how they do at the end of the month.

My thanks to Coffee Cups and Crayons for sharing it for everyone’s use.

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Website Link with Suggestions on how to accomplish these random acts for Advent.

GISHWHES

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Beginning on Sunday, August 11th and going through August 18th, I will be participating in GISHWHES, the acronym for the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen. (https://www.gishwhes.com/what_is_gishwhes.php). It has broken three Guinness Book of World Records and I would expect it to do so again.

The teams are comprised of 15 members from all around the world, although in my case it’s more transcontinental. We can’t talk about our members (so I’m told) and I can’t share our accomplishments/activities/crazy off the Gishwhes website (so I’m told) until it’s concluded on the 18th.

I may pop in here to share some of my feelings and thoughts on what I’m doing during the week, but not what I’m doing during the week. Make sense?

I’m excited to be participating; this is my first year. My son is on another team (after refusing to join me, but you know, peer pressure) and my best friend is on another team which had no room for me. *frowny face*

The Hunt is run by Misha Collins, one of the stars of Supernatural, who really tries to only use his power for good. In addition to GISHWHES, check out his charity Random Acts. They do great things for people who need great things done for them. They also promote the random act of kindness that anyone can do for free.

Random Acts for Misha

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I’ve known about Random Acts for several months now when my friend told me that this coming Fall I’d be participating in GISHWHES (pronounced gish-weeze), which stands for The Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen. It was started by actor Misha Collins and holds the world’s record for largest scavenger hunt.

Random Acts is his non-profit that raises money to do random acts for people that need a little extra something, and encourages people to pledge to do random acts of kindness for strangers.

On April Fool’s Day, the online fans of Misha Collins held a Mishapocalypse where hundreds of people on Tumblr changed their avatars to a particular one of Mr. Collins and then it kind of escalated to every single post that passed by my dash was some kind of gifset of Misha Collins – the more ridiculous, the better for the next twenty-four hours.

For his birthday, it was suggested that his fans do another Mishapocalypse. Instead, however, because the entire Tumblr being taken over did actually bother some people, something different was suggested.

Random Acts 4 Misha was born and began to ask people to ‘donate’ random acts of kindness to take place on August 20th and somehow document it with a birthday wish for Mr. Collins.

This is the link to the Tumblr: http://randomacts4misha.tumblr.com/

This is a link to someone who came up with 50 brilliant, low-cost ideas for random acts: http://trulyexpendable.tumblr.com/post/49703352342/random-acts

This is the link to the Random Acts organization: http://www.therandomact.org/

I’m not sure what I’ll be doing but I know that I’ll be doing something. I am an ardent fan of Misha Collins (and his wife, the PhD and author) and I have had many random acts done for me in a variety of ways that I would like to pay it back, or forward really. It’s not a trade, one for one, but it’s been so nice for me to have received them that I want to share that joy with others, and I know that Mr. Collins would really love it being done in his name.

Anyone interested, please remember to coordinate with the above Tumblr I’ve provided the link for. They are in contact with the Random Acts people and there are restrictions about raising money, so since it’s an official activity, they want to know who is doing what, especially in the case of money.

This is where I love this fandom; coming together and supporting the things that are important to all of us as a member of the world. It reaffirms my faith in humanity and the goodness of people.