E4K 2016 Preview: What We’re Up To

E4K shortE4K 2016 is just four days away, and the Random Acts staff is in full preparation mode! For this year’s Endure4Kindness challenge, our team members and supporters have pulled together a litany of amazing activities, all of which will help raise money to continue funding our year-round list of projects and your own acts of kindness. There’s still plenty of time to create your own team, of course, but in case you’re stuck on ideas, we’ve compiled a few of our favorites so far, to help get you inspired.

First off, a few important notes: Over E4K weekend (April 16-17), participants are encouraged to sign up via Random Acts’ official E4K Crowdrise and pledge to do one continuous activity for as long as possible, whether it’s running a marathon, knitting, or cleaning up a local park (you might recall our fearless leader running 50 miles in 2010 to fundraise via pledged donations). Throughout the big day, your friends, families, co-workers, or pets will be able to donate to your team’s page (we’ll be super impressed if that last group somehow figures out how to use a laptop or smartphone without opposable thumbs).

There are incentives, of course — this year, teams who actively raise more $250 or more will be entered to win a personal shout-out on Twitter from Random Acts founder Misha Collins himself. You’ll also be entered to win an autographed prize (which we promise will be even more exciting than finding out your pet has basic tech skills)! Read up on the fine print over on our official E4K page.

Searching for an activity? Check out what these staffers and supporters will be getting up to this weekend and start brainstorming a few ideas of your own:

CSqKgT8UEAAdGFrJuliana, Random Acts IT Manager

“I’m planning on going around D.C. and visiting different well-known locations (museums, monuments, etc.) … and [I’ll be picking] up postcards representing the places I visit along the way,” Juliana explains. “I’ll post clues about the location I’m at on Twitter (@RandomActsIT). People can win a postcard signed by Misha from that location by guessing where I am — guesses will only count if they are made with a donation to [my specific] Crowdrise!” (Please note that the winner will be selected at random from the pool of correct answers.)

Juliana’s Crowdrise page

e4k_nyc_skyline-570bd23221a3aCinde, Random Acts Director; Natasha, Random Acts Executive Assistant; Natalie, Random Acts Regional Events Officer; and “Friends” — a.k.a. The 5 Borough Battalion

“It’s simple: Anyone who donates to our official team, 5 Borough Battalion, on Crowdrise can suggest a destination of their choice, anywhere in New York City,” the team explains. “Have a favorite bakery, or think you know the best noodle shop in the Upper East Side? Send us there! Want to see us posing in front of your favorite Brooklyn landmark, or that oh-so-lovely tree you remember sitting under in Central Park? Your wish is our command! When you donate, just give us your name and your location of choice, or send a tweet directly to @RADirector with the hashtag #NYCE4K. If we pick your location and snap a silly photo we’ll tag you in it so that you, and everyone else, can see, and pick up a souvenir just for you!” You can also follow along with the team’s progress here: @RAEventsTeam

5 Borough Battalion’s Crowdrise page

Teambeer_final-57042294cd899Team Beer (Vivian Beer)

For this weekend’s E4K challenge, talented artist and designer Vivian Beer and her team will be creating uniquely beautiful metal bike racks, which Beer hopes to later install across multiple New Hampshire districts. The New-England based furniture designer has been successfully running Vivian Beer Studio Works for 10 years now and is looking for a way to give back in a creative way while motivating others to do the same. “Endurance for me is always been tied to hard work in the studio and shop, so when I decided to do the Random Acts Endure4Kindness fundraiser this year I thought, ‘what can we make in 24 hours?’ Beer explained. “TEAM BEER will consist of me and my whole family. Our goal is to make as many bike racks as we can in this 24hr relay making event!” Follow along with the team over E4K weekend on Twitter: @VivianBeer.

Team Beer’s Crowdrise page

12973435_1285880001427076_7031248948148976728_oJennifer, Random Acts Development Officer

Jennifer got a jumpstart on this year’s E4K challenge and completed her endurance activity last weekend, spending a long day geocaching for hidden treasures (that’s where scavenger hunters use GPS coordinates or specific clues to locate items stashed away in a lock box all across a specified region, in case you didn’t know… Sergei needed an explanation as well, don’t worry). Now, she’s challenging you to beat her score of 13—count ’em—unearthed geocache items! “I can’t wait to see what you all come up with [this weekend],” Jennifer tweeted recently. “I’ll be watching!”

Check out the Development team Twitter account (@RAFundraiser) to see Jennifer’s success, then join an official E4K Crowdrise team of your own (your team can be just you, if need be) and start fundraising — you can ask your friends and family to pledge a certain amount per object or to donate at the end!

Random Acts’ Crowdrise page

Kerri D’Ambrosio

IppQzJl8Supporter Kerri has already hit a whopping $1,206 total so far in her E4K fundraiser — and the challenge hasn’t even started! “For the third year in a row, I will be baking cookies for 24 hours,” Kerri writes. “Baking will commence at 4:30 a.m. ET on Saturday morning, April 16, and will continue until 4:30 a.m. ET on Sunday morning, April 17. Cookies will be distributed to qualifying donors, with the leftovers to be donated to a local soup kitchen that will accept them.”

Follow Kerri on Twitter (@kerrold) throughout E4K weekend to check in on the madness!

Kerri’s Crowdrise page

Wendy Hsia

sockcck-56f9ca8f203e2This isn’t Wendy’s first rodeo — last year alone, the intrepid Random Acts supporter crocheted seven blankets for Seattle Children’s Hospital over a span of 36 hours. This year, she’s planning on diving in once again. “I will once again be crocheting items for a local hospital, [only] this year I’ll make hats for the San Diego VA Hospital,” Wendy explains. “If you donate $25 or more [to my official Crowdrise team page], I will make and send you a homemade sock monkey hat [of your own]!”

Sock monkey hats? Crocheting marathons? Kindness and love?! We’re THERE.

Wendy’s Crowdrise page

12472803_10102477062678509_2591152873903946071_nMelanie, Random Acts Marketing Co-Manager (Creative Arts)

Have you always wanted a poem dedicated to you or your deep love of mozzarella cheese? I’m here to make that dream come true. Yes: All day on Saturday, Melanie (that’s me!) will be taking poetry requests for a variety of topics, both serious and silly. The catch? Each poem must be 140 characters or less. Make sure to donate to my official Crowdrise account here, then tweet me your name, a topic of choice and whether your poem should be lighthearted, thought-provoking, or any tone in between. Don’t have a topic in mind? That’s okay! Tell me something about yourself and I’ll write it in a poettweet! (Just… you know. Don’t tell me about that mysterious rash on your elbow. I won’t write a poem about that.)

Tweet me: @E4KPoet

Melanie’s Crowdrise page

SPNFAMILYLOGO-55edf310d3f74Portland SPN Family

“In the years prior, multiple members of the Portland SPN family have done E4K, everything from making energy bars for the homeless to collecting garbage to clean up the beaches,” the team writes. “This year, we’ve decided to pool our efforts to do some major good for the community. We will have crafters, bakers, and those out in the field marathoning good deeds and we would love for you to help us raise as much as possible….” According to the Portland SPN Family team, anyone who donates “at least $10.00 [to the Portland SPN Family’s official Crowdrise team page] will be entered into a raffle to receive a custom Funko of their choice”, or a fandom-themed gift bag. Read up on the fine print and donate now or this weekend using the link below!

Portland SPN Family’s Crowdrise page

Jessica Ferrara (Octuse)

Love music? Really love the kazoo? You’re in for a special treat. “I asked if Misha [could tweet] a song he would want me to Kazoo, [and said] I would donate [to one of his current charitable initiatives],” Jessica (a.k.a. “Octuse”) wrote recently. “… Someone [then] suggested that I … kazoo as much as possible for E4K!”

Want to watch a stranger kazoo for 24 hours straight? Tune into Jessica’s livestream over E4K weekend and donate to request a specific song!

Jessica’s Crowdrise page

sergei-geocaching-v1Team Sergei Misha (Sergei?)

We can’t divulge details yet regarding what Misha (and Coach Sergei… and E4K9) will be up to over E4K weekend. That’s a surprise, and we don’t want to spoil it for you, do we? Check back here for details later this week! (And keep up the hard work, so you have “strong physique”, okay?)

Misha’s Crowdrise page

Random Acts Social Media

Our tireless social media staff will be spending the weekend marathoning as well — on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Instagram, of course. Want to donate in their name and cheer them on? Send them a message on Twitter (@RASocialMedia) and then head to the official Random Acts Crowdrise page to give what you can! Their blistered fingers and heavy eyelids will thank you for it.

Random Acts Crowdrise page

Head to our official E4K page now to read up on the official rules you may have missed and get yourself prepared for a day of fundraising and exciting activities! You can also get into the spirit of things by playing our official 2016 E4K game, Run, Misha, Run (bonus points if you beat E4K9’s score….)

We’ll see you this weekend!

Not to get ahead of ourselves… but consider this your gentle reminder to fill out your E4K participation form when your activity this weekend is complete! We know you probably don’t like paperwork, but think of it this way: Not only will you make Sergei, E4K9, and the entire Random Acts team that much happier, you could also be featured in our round-up blog or in a future Kindness Files post!