Ten years ago today, gamers worldwide were called upon to brighten the holidays for sick kids at Seattle Children’s Hospital. The response then was phenomenal, and since that point gamers worldwide have shown their generosity year after year. Since our inception, the gaming community has now raised over $20 million - $2.5 million in 2013 alone.
These donations have made a remarkable impact in the lives of children in our network of hospitals, which has grown to over 90 facilites worldwide. In addition to our hospital network, donations are now going to provide domestic violence facilities with game carts to help kids and their families through an incredibly traumatic experience. Dr. Bradley Leech summarizes it well: “That is a reality that Child’s Play Charity is doing for our kids - adding a smile to their faces at a time when it is needed the most.”
Speaking of smiles, the 7th Annual Desert Bus for Hope has concluded its long journey, and the results are nothing short of stunning. After 6 days and 11 hours of bussing, they raised over $520,000 for Child’s Play. Fundraisers like Desert Bus exemplify why the Child’s Play community is so remarkable: hundreds of hours of preparation, thousands participating in chat and viewing the stream, visitors, call-ins, auctions and giveaways. The comprehensive effort on the part of everyone involved will positively impact the lives of thousands of kids around the world for years to come. We’re so grateful to the Desert Bus team and donors. Thank you to each and every one of you.
If you’re planning to celebrate our 10th Anniversary at our Dinner Auction but haven’t purchased your tickets yet, do so right away - there are only a few left, and it’s looking like they’ll sell out today or tomorrow. It’s going to be an extra-special celebration with music provided by the Doubleclicks and special guest hosts, Scott Kurtz and Kris Straub.
Ten years. $20 million. Hundreds of thousands of lives. And it wouldn’t have been possible without you. Thank you.
Gamers from around the world have now donated $1.8 million in toys, games, and more to benefit kids in hospitals and domestic violence shelters in 2013! With the holidays fast approaching, it’s easy to get caught up in plans and celebrations: the fact that so many gamers make an effort to positiviely impact the lives of kids in a tough situation is absolutely inspirational. If you’d like to give, you can do so by donating here, or picking items off an Amazon wishlist for a specific facility here.
Like many around the world, our thoughts over the past week have been with communities impacted by Typhoon Haiyan. If you’re interested in donating directly to the cause, a list of recommended non-profits from Guidestar can be found here. We know firsthand how incredibly generous gamers can be, and there are many people in desperate need there.
Our 10th Anniversary celebration Dinner Auction is December 5th and there are still a few tickets left. If you’re interested in donating an auction item, email Jamie - j[email protected] - the auction is always an incredible mix of game collectibles, unique art, tours of incredible studios, and more. You don’t want to miss it!
In case you’re just tuning in for the holidays, we just announced an expansion of Child’s Play: we will now be assisting children in domestic violence shelters. Our pilot program is well underway and we’re planning to open applications for the general program in Spring 2014. Read more about the program here, and if you have any questions, feel free to email Jamie ([email protected]).
As always, thank you for your incredible support!
With the holiday season upon us, we wanted to share some exciting news from Child’s Play. Due to the incredible amount of support from gamers around the world, we’ve been working on a new initiative to benefit children and their families in domestic violence facilities. Those of you who happened to be at the PAX East 2012 Q&A with Mike and Jerry may remember the original announcement:
Since then, I’ve spoken with dozens of domestic violence shelter advocates across the country to understand how they operate and how we can best benefit them. With an entirely new initiative, we wanted to take our time and ensure we were making the most impact possible with your donations. Unlike the network of hospitals we serve, domestic violence shelters operate on a much smaller scale and can have specific needs and challenges: Anonymous locations, apartment-style housing, multilingual families, and more.
Within our pilot program, we have domestic violence facilities that provide emergency housing, long term housing, counseling, legal advocacy, and a variety of youth and family care programs, but there was one unifying factor to each and every one: They’re in need of ways to support, entertain, distract and interact with traumatised youth. One of our pilot applications summed it up perfectly:
“The very nature of family violence eradicates trust, self-respect, and physical and emotional wellness in all victims, but none more so than with the children. These “hidden victims” are often the most vulnerable, overlooked and the least likely to receive appropriate services during a time of intense trauma.
We believe that these “hidden victims“ can be reached through creativity and play; through the gaming opportunities and learning experience, they will build their self-confidence and self-esteem. Our ability to offer social and emotional skill development- through constructive play and gaming activities - will help the children impacted by violence develop self-understanding, creative thinking and empathy skills, designed to support their healing, growth and future success.”
I’m proud to announce we have selected ten facilities to participate in the pilot program for our domestic violence assistance initiative. Over the past year, we’ve been working to build a custom designed game kiosk, complete with console, TV, and appropriate games.
As we get feedback and fine-tune the manufacturing and distribution process, we will expand the network to include facilities nationwide. For the past ten years, we’ve been so grateful for the amazing support you’ve given our hospital network, and we’re honored and excited to expand that support to children in domestic violence shelters. Gamers give back, and it truly makes a difference. Thank you!