We all know about the "Ice Bucket Challenge" that recently swept the nation in support of ALS research. In fact, it was nearly impossible for users of social media to miss it.
Videos posted to Facebook and Twitter included participants dumping ice water over their heads and challenging friends or relatives to do the same. As an alternative to a cold soaking, folks could elect to make a donation that would help fund research for Lou Gehrig's disease instead.
In short order, celebrities jumped on board, the movement went viral, and the ALS Association received an unbelievable influx of charitable donations to support their cause.
Taking a cue from the success of the "Ice Bucket Challenge," Pennsylvania Hunters Sharing the Harvest recently came up with a fun way to raise awareness and funds for their own cause.
Hunters Sharing the Harvest is a non-profit venison donation program, through which successful hunters may donate harvested deer to be processed, packaged and delivered to local food banks across Pennsylvania. All fees associated with getting the deer from butcher shops to hungry mouths in need are covered by secure donations made by private supporters and corporate sponsors.
It is a great program that gives lean, essential protein to people who simply cannot afford to buy meat for their families. Reaching out to more than 3,000 local food pantries, soup kitchens, and churches in the Commonwealth, the venison that hunters donate goes a long way in fighting the inevitable hunger associated with low-income households.
Two weeks ago, Schuylkill County HSH coordinator, Jim O'Brien contacted me about a new initiative he hoped to get up and running that would increase funding and awareness for HSH. He asked if I would be willing to participate if he were to nominate me for the "2014 HSH Target Challenge."
Expressing that I'd be happy to help in any way I could, Jim officially called me out on Facebook just a few days later.
The "HSH Target Challenge" includes printing out a paper deer target that is marked with varying monetary amounts. Participants are to place the target against a safe backstop and shoot it with a weapon and distance of their choosing. Whatever amount they shoot is the sum of the tax-deductible donation they can make via the HSH website, www.sharedeer.org/support.
Like the "Ice Bucket Challenge," participants are encouraged to post videos of their shots and nominate three or more friends to also complete the challenge. The ultimate goal is to help spread the word about this incredibly worthy cause, and to also increase funding through the process.
With bow season just around the corner, the "HSH Target Challenge" is a practical, fun, and easy way to draw positive attention to a great program that has allowed hunters to give back to their local communities for more than 20 years.
I completed the challenge a few days ago with my compound bow, and my donation has already been made. Now, I hereby nominate all willing Outdoor News readers to do the same. I've posted the official HSH target on my Facebook page, for your convenience. It can be accessed at www.facebook.com/pages/Natural-Pursuit-Outdoors/421444917950253.
Thank you in advance for your support of this great cause! Good luck!