After the busy holiday season with the Dinner Auction and Year End Drive, the Child’s Play Staff can usually take a breather as we settle back into a more normal pace. But this year things have been super busy for the first two months, so much so that we are just now posting our end of year wrapup! Thank you to our community for making it another amazing year in which we impacted over a million children in over 200 facilities across the globe. You did that!
We hit $40 million dollars raised since we started in 2004 - a staggering amount. That has changed the lives for the better of millions and millions of kids across the world, and hopefully we can give you some insight into what those funds have been up to this year!
In addition to raising funds for over 100 Children’s Hospitals in our Child’s Play Network, 2015 saw us deliver custom game carts to over 100 domestic violence shelters in North America, a program originally tested in 2014 to great success. These came equipped with a game console, accessories, and a library of non-violent games pre-loaded. These are kids that may have had to leave in a hurry, often not considering their toys and games that help them cope. The domestic violence program furthers our mission to have games available for those that need them for therapeutic applications.
For the first time, we implemented an outreach program to our hospital network, because oftentimes (and understandably!) practitioners are busy with doing the amazing work of saving lives and working with patients to keep up with the latest games and technology we send them. We partnered with GameChanger Charity to do the Gamer’s Give Back tour where we visit hospitals, bringing age appropriate gifts for some of the sickest long term patients, provide a catered lunch for their staff, and talk with the Child Life staff about gaming and technology. We’ve received great feedback and are looking forward to visiting more hospitals in 2016.
With the help of EEDAR we created a Therapeutic Video Games Recommendations guide. Gamers understand that games can help you feel better, can distract from pain and help you feel happy when you’re down. This tool helps guide Child Life staff, clinicians, and parents determine which games will help kids exhibiting different symptoms.
I know we’ve said it before, but none of this would be possible without the video game industry and gaming community running and supporting fundraisers. Every purchase through Amazon Smile or Humble Bundle, every Amazon Wishlist purchase, and every direct donation adds up to a whole world of good that we can never thank you enough for. You made our 2015 amazing, and together we are looking at an even better 2016!