With 12 months to make change, how do you focus your efforts? Our January ambitions can diminish rapidly. One way to stay the course is to make a commitment—a fundraising commitment like $2,021. Set your own challenge, have fun, sharpen your skills, gain strength, and connect with your community: Join the '21 Challenge for Cancer Research. Here are 12 ideas to make a better, brighter 2021.
January: Health Challenge
In honor of Healthy Weight Week (January 19-25), consider what changes you’d like to make over the next 12 months and set a goal for yourself. Challenge yourself to a new healthy habit like drinking plenty of water, getting enough sleep, and exercising for 21 minutes a day. Fundraising is one way to keep yourself accountable—and both you and cancer patients around the world will be the better for it.
February: Language Challenge
Celebrate International Mother Language Day on February 21 with a linguistic challenge. Learn 21 new words or phrases in another language and use them to effectively communicate with a native speaker. Ask for donations with each new communication set mastered. Build a team by challenging others to teach or learn a different language.
March: Hiking Challenge
Honor our forests with 21 hikes this year as we honor the International Day of Forests on March 21. It’s a fun, safe outdoor activity to improve your body and your mind. Hiking is a great cardiovascular workout and forest bathing reduces stress, too. Ask for donations with each new trail conquered to keep you on the path.
April: Creative Challenge
The United Nations created International Creativity and Innovation Day (April 21) to spur new perspectives and experimental problem-solving to advance UN sustainable development goals. CRI scientists are pursuing novel scientific ideas and working toward a future immune to cancer. Could you create 21 different visions of the future to support their work? Draw 21 different cartoons, write 21 stories, sew 21 outfits, or even make 21 different Rube Goldberg machines to change your perspective on the future—and hopefully a few others (with some monetary encouragement), too.
May: Tea Challenge
How elaborate is a tea party on International Tea Day, May 21? As elaborate as you make it. Discover the history and culture of different tea ceremonies from around the world. Try 21 different teas. Invite family and friends (and encourage donations) to share a cuppa and spill the tea.
It's May already. What are you waiting for?
Join the ’21 Challenge for Cancer Research
June: Yoga Challenge
You’ve mastered cat and melting heart, but what about locust or one-legged king pigeon? Challenge yourself to 21 new yoga positions on June 21 for International Yoga Day. Make it a team challenge and see who can raise the most money, master the most positions, and breathe out.
July: Hot Dog Challenge
While you may not be a contender for Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest (the current record holders have eaten 75 and 48.5 hotdogs, respectively), there’s nothing to stop a little friendly barbecue competition. Celebrate National Hot Dog Day on July 21 with an eating contest—or if your stomach can’t handle that, serve 21 different kinds at the ultimate summer party. Request donations from your guests.
August: Travel Challenge
In the doldrums of August, celebrate Break the Monotony Day (August 21) with a travel challenge to get you out of your funk—but you don’t have to go too far. Become a tourist in your own city and visit 21 landmarks. Set your treadmill on an adventure with walks around the globe. Voyage to new worlds with 21 different books. Update friends and family about each destination and ask for a donation in return. And if you are traveling, don’t forget your garden gnome for a few photos.
September: Cookie Challenge
The United States may celebrate National Pecan Cookie Day on September 21, but we truly celebrate all cookies all year. Challenge yourself to 21 different cookie recipes and share the results for a donation. The sweetest bake sales lead to breakthrough cancer treatments.
October: Apple Challenge
What better way to celebrate autumn than with a trip apple-picking? Make a map of orchards and pick 21 different kinds of apples by Apple Day on October 21. Don’t forget to bake a few pies to generate donations on the side.
November: Television Challenge
As the weather turns cooler, it may be the right time to finally watch The Wire, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, or Ken Burns’ The Civil War—whatever lengthy television series you’ve been putting off. Write a reaction or recap for each episode and ask for donations to keep you watching. Can you make it through 21 episodes by World Television Day on November 21?
December: Hamburger Challenge
If you marathoned 21 hours of Bob’s Burgers, you’re perfectly prepared for the 21 Hamburger Challenge in honor of National Hamburger Day on December 21. We challenge you to make 21 different burgers in the month of December—veggie included!
We hope these 12 different challenges have suitably inspired you to make change for yourself and support cancer immunotherapy research in 2021.
Join the ’21 Challenge for Cancer Research
Photo by Luke van Zyl on Unsplash