Today, the good old-fashioned ways of raising money for charity are a bit outdated by our current standards. Fundraisers in this day and age are all about grabbing our attention in the most insane ways they could think of. Forget about raffles and pledges, now it’s about creating giant water slides or riding a giant hamster wheel. Maybe even skydiving 70 times for your 70th birthday! Below are some of the most outrageous and out-of-the-box charity challenges in the world.
1. Human Hamster Wheel
British endurance athlete and engineer Chriss Todd is no stranger to over-the-top charity activities. After all, he’d just completed six marathons in six days across the Gobi Desert in Mongolia as well as a hike in the Canadian Arctic. So in 2012, Todd decided to journey over the open waters from Wales to Ireland using what appears to be a giant hamster wheel he nicknamed the Tredalo. All seemed to be going well until rough weather conditions damaged the rudders of the Tredalo, forcing him to retreat. Though he did manage to make it pretty far and raised quite a bit of money in the end.
2. Stop Playing That Song
Most times, people choose to donate purely out of the goodness of their heart. But for the students of the Tenino High School in Washington, DC, it was done from a state of annoyance and irritation. In 2014, in order to raise funds for disadvantaged orphans in Ghana, the school played Justin Bieber’s debut song “Baby” on repeat during lunch, recess and between classes and the only way to make it stop was by donating, which the fed up students complied with.
3. 70 Skydives for 70th Birthday
When Larry Ekstrom turned 70-years-old, he decided to celebrate his birthday in a true daredevil manner: a dive out of a plane for every year he has lived so far. Turns out that he was an experienced skydiver, who, ten years prior, completed a similar stunt: he skydived 60 times on his 60th birthday to raise money for multiple sclerosis, which his wife suffered from. Though this time, the funds collected from this insane feat went to Leader Dogs for the Blind charity organization in Michigan.
4. Giant Waterslide
What better way to both raise money and beat the summer heat than building the world’s longest waterslide? This was the work of Jimi Hunt and Dan Drupsteen, creators of the Live More Awesome mental health charity organization based in New Zealand. The pair started the event in 2013 which turned out to be a huge success. Then they’d go on to repeat for another four years, this time from 2015 to 2018, turning it into a three-day event that drew in thousands of participants. An unexpected upside to all of this was that the 2015 slide broke the Guinness Record for the World’s Longest Inflatable Waterslide.
5. Unicycle Quest
In honor of his sister who was battling cancer for the third time in a row, Australian actor Samuel Johnson made it his duty to traverse the continent using a mere unicycle. Although the idea originally came about as an inside joke between the two siblings, Johnson decided to make it his duty to see it through. And that’s exactly what he did! So from 2013 to 2014, Samuel Johnson journeyed across the Australian landscape through heat, rain and snow for a little over 364 days and 9,938 miles or 15,995 kilometers. Talk about a brother’s love!
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