Everybody wants to make a positive impact on the world, right? (Just nod and shake your head yes.) Some of us are passionate about the welfare of children, others have lost someone dear to them due to disease. We all have our favorite causes, and my cause is the most important, gosh darn it!
Some causes just struck us as unusual, non-sensical, and plain outright weird. I mean, everyone’s gotta have a gimmick. Though their approaches may be different, some campaigns do address serious issues, despite their initial impression. Others are just hard to wrap your heads around.
10. Starborn Support
Have you ever been abducted by aliens? Experiencing trauma? Yes? Well, Starborn Support is for you! You’ve seen those cheesy documentaries on the History Channel on how aliens built the pyramids. You’ve even heard of people claiming to be abducted by little gray men with big black eyes. It’s time to start taking this problem seriously! This kind of thing can leave serious emotional trauma with abductees. Have you noticed moments of missing time, when you can’t remember what happened? Are there strange markings on your body? There’s a good chance you might have been abducted.
Based out of Maine, this website promises to offer support to those who have experienced the unthinkable. This group has twelve locations along the east coast as well as groups in the UK, Colombia, and Latin America. So no matter where you are, you can find someone to lean on in your time of need.
9. Bug Eating Advocate
You can save the world by eating bugs instead of steak. At least that’s what these people say. So how can it exactly save the world? For starters, eating bugs can help with the global effort to cure hunger. Hungry? Grab a bug. Also, it can help financially to skip out on that burger and have a fly or a grub instead. There is definitely some practicality here, right? It’s hard to consider this site seriously, but people follow it. There are even photos of people eating bugs.
Let’s get serious; hunger is no laughing matter. People in other countries eat bugs all the time! They’re healthy, right? And nothing is more satisfying than that first crunch as your teeth sink into a grasshopper. Full of various bugs and recipes for bugs, the Bug Eating Advocate offers just about everything one could need to jump in and start eating bugs.
8. Celibrate: Celebrating Celibacy
The phrase “happily ever after” typically implies that all of life’s problems can be solved by entering into a (heterosexual) marriage. Romance, love, and sex are all that you need to survive; who cares about the bills or the dishes? However, there are individuals who, for faith and/or other personal reasons, choose not to seek sexual pursuits for enjoyment. While some people may feel isolated by their personal decisions, “Celibrate” was founded to support men and women practicing a celibate lifestyle. Many persons observing celibacy have stated they feel “empowered” by doing so.
The ever-fabulous Tim Gunn of Project Runway fame has publically spoken about his choice to remain celibate. For 30+ years, Mr. Gunn has practiced celibacy, his decision stemming from the onset of the AIDS epidemic. While doctors and “experts” in the study of sexuality proclaim that celibacy is harmful to humans, Tim states he’s “happy to be healthy and alive.”
7. Sons of the Flag
What IS this group? Some sort of right wing, anti-government militia movement? Well, whoever picked the name for this organization should have come up with a different moniker. Upon seeing the group’s name for the first time, how many people want to quickly close out the tab that they are on or call the Southern Poverty Law Center?
Well, if they had read a little further, they would realize this is FAR from the truth. The Sons describe themselves as “a nonprofit organization committed to supporting military, first responder, and civilian burn survivors by providing funding for innovative research.” Phew. That actually doesn’t sound bad at all. In gratitude for all that public servants do for our communities, the group sponsors advanced research to treat burns. Support is given to burn survivors at the time of and after the burn incident has taken place.
The American Burn Association releases information about the number of burn incidents per year and the Phoenix Society is also committed to aiding burn victims in their recoveries. Now that’s a fire worth fighting, isn’t it? They hold their flag high and proud, not what you thought when you started this.
6. The Society in Dedham for Apprehending Horse Thieves
Horse thieves. Are you kidding me? That only happened in the Wild West, right? Founded in 1810, the purpose of the Society was to recover stolen horses and bring criminals to justice. Back in the rural beginnings of our country, to steal a horse was the gravest of crimes you could commit. Rural America depended on their horses for farm labor and transportation. To steal a horse meant that you took away an individual’s or family’s livelihood. This would also affect town citizens who depended on farmers for crops and other items to trade. In response, citizens took it upon themselves to defend their property.
Despite there being little to no need to enforce law and order, nor apprehend horse thieves in this day, organizations dedicated to this type of vigilante justice tend to only exist now for social and historical purposes. Yet members feel it is their responsibility to keep these societies alive to preserve a portion of both their local and national history.
5. The Harry Potter Alliance a.k.a. “Dumbledore’s Army”
Harry Potter fans are a fiercely dedicated bunch. (I’m a Ravenclaw, myself.) “Potterheads,” as some call themselves, feel a strong connection to the “Wizarding World” created by J.K. Rowling (their “Queen”). While most Potterheads know that the Harry Potter books were a work of fiction, they feel compelled to live out the principles set forth in the series. Thus, the Harry Potter Alliance was born.
Members of the alliance draw parallels between the struggle to bring down the evil Voldemort and the fight for social justice in our world today. And who was a critical component to defeating Voldemort? Dumbledore’s Army, of course!
Dumbledore’s Army was comprised of some of the fiercest defenders of Hogwarts; this included one Neville Longbottom, the biggest B.A.M.F. of them all. Likewise, alliance members strive to eradicate social ills everywhere, using that same amount of determination. Think the alliance is a small group? Nope. The HP Alliance claims to have a presence on five continents and groups such as Dumbledore’s Army at the Rochester Institute of Technology.
4. Force for Change
While the Star Trek kids are off playing in the sandbox J.J. Abrams created for them, the Star Wars camp created a partnership between Lucasfilm and Disney in an effort to “harness the power of “The Force” and combat “some of the world’s greatest problems.”
Recently, Force for Change headed up a fundraising effort to benefit UNICEF, a UN organization dedicated to promoting the rights of children. The promotion gave the opportunity for one person to win “a visit to the set of Star Wars VII and appear in the movie.” The lucky winner was just announced three weeks ago. Variety reports the Force for Change raised $5.26 million dollars.
3. Ten Ugly Men
Until recently, the identity of the Ten Ugly Men remained a mystery. Their organization, however, needed no explanation. Live music, awesome food, and plenty of sports activities in which to partake. I mean, dude. Seriously? A party where you can play KICKBALL? Sign me up!
This not-for-profit charity began in Rochester, NY 25 years ago. Its purpose? To throw the biggest and best parties EVER in order to raise money for local charities. An annual festival is the group’s headlining event, plus they host several smaller events throughout the year, such as a 5K Run.
One of the most recognizable charities to benefit from the men’s labor is the Golisano Children’s Hospital, a division of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) that researches and treats some of the most threatening conditions known. Organ transplants, trauma services, and a pediatric HIV program are among the many services Golisano offers for children.
2. The Order of the Azure Rose
Despite being a Rennie myself, this is the first time I heard about the Order of the Azure Rose. Its aim is to bring Tudor history alive and promote the ideals of chivalrous behavior and a society based on decorum to the 21st century. Created at the Grand Valley Renaissance Festival, it has participated in the Utah Renaissance Festival, as well as many others. The order hopes to further extend their scope by bringing education programs to schools and youth organizations, and offers appearances at business events.
1. The International Wenches’ Guild
Ah, the Wenches! For many people attending Renaissance Fairs, seeing busty babes in corsets is the highlight of their day. But did you know that the Wenches were organized?! The founding chapter, Local 69, was created at the New York Renaissance Faire. Other wenches have also been spotted at the Sterling Renaissance Festival. It’s not just a coincidence that these buxom beauties seem to move about in a haze of rose perfume. The Wenches have assembled for a singular purpose.
To have fun.
The guild bills itself as “the place where we know that Women are Entitled to Nothing but Complete Happiness!” At renaissance festivals all over the USA, wenches gather to “flirt with” unsuspecting males, run booths, and even donate a portion of their proceeds to charity. Performances known as “wench shows” contain the singing of bawdy songs, wench “auctions,” and interacting with the audience.
Don’t forget to smell the “rose garden!”