On Sumo wrestlers + the WGME Spirit Challenge + clicktavism

February 22, 2015

The WGME Spirit Challenge means a good deal to Maine communities. It is a well scripted and managed way to make some youth aware of community needs and other youth grateful that local food pantries are well stocked. Food scarcity and hunger impact many Maine children.  Smartly, WGME mandates viewers watch a short video before they can watch any segment taped at schools. It’s an awesome way to get some statistics in front of viewers from students, to parents, to grandparents.  And, if you are this far into my blog and feel the need to help Bethel, click and make a quick donation to the Virtual Good Shepard Food Bank.


screenshot from the Maine Credit Union's ad

screenshot from the Maine Credit Union’s ad


Gould is working hard to hit the 100,000 pounds of food and just when I thought the community was tapped for giving, this weekend planning group, Mr. Bean’s Tiger Crew, dug deeply and hosted sumo wrestling, skateboarding, and pretzel and milkshake eating event in the Field House with all proceeds going toward the Spirit Challenge.

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 6.54.08 AM


With all the good happening,  it is as important to observe the place the energy is not catching on and think about those spaces.  What if no one cared about hunger? What if no one cares about climate change? What if no one cares about (fill in the blank with the large social, political, environmental problem of your choice)?  If  no one knows, no one cares. It is when an issue is shared, caring might happen, and this might lead to action.


My only critique of WGME’s spirit challenge is that rather than telling us this is a good cause, how might schools show this?  How about designing a part of the challenge that allows schools to show how important it is to support local food banks?  In the end, any successful and sustainable  initiative needs to move beyond the passive “likes” and “shares” of clicktavism, and needs to harness engagement at the doing through understanding level.


For many schools, Gould included, the WGME Spirit Challenge is the first foray into  fundraising competitions, and we can begin to see it is a tipping point into harnessing engagement and philanthropy. It has certainly tipped me into places the IDEAS Center can offer training and support.


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