A Good Cause If I Ever Saw One
I have been a longtime fan of the web comic Penny Arcade. The two authors are funny and talented, and I read the strip first thing every morning that they update. In 2003, Tycho and Gabe (I use their Pen Names as I lack their real ones) started a charity called Child's Play. This charity was dedicated to trying to make the unbearable a little easier to bear. Working in association with Children's Hospital in Seattle, Washington, they made it their mission to prove that Gamers weren't anti-social, amoral, violent, killing machines, and that 99% of us were human and cared about those around us. What the Charity does is get games and toy and such to the people who really need them, kids in the hospital. I play games for fun, sure, but the kids in places like Children's Hospital, they play games to help keep their mind of the pain and boredom they have to face, day in and day out. I spent a large part of my childhood indoors because I wanted to, these kids spend a large part of their childhood inside a hospital because either they are took sick to leave or in the case of a lot of the Chemo kids, it is dangerous to simply take a lung full of air in the great outdoors.
The first year they were active (X-Mass of 2003), they collected $250,000 worth of toys and donations for Children's Hospital, all from gamers like us and some business' that hopped on board. Just do some quick math in your head, that's multiple truck loads of video games and consoles, and craft supplies and toys. In a couple of months a quarter of the MILLION dollars worth of stuff was donated to a bunch of kids whose Christmas was going to be shitty.
The Second year of operation, Child's Play had a enough support to work with five Children's Hospitals across the nation. Corporate sponsors, business donations, a charity dinner and auction, and once again, a community of Gamers who care, made Christmas a little bit brighter for a lot of kids who go through things I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.
This year, Child's Play is working with Children's Hospitals in US, Canada, and the United Kingdom, 15 hospital's in all, two in Canada, One in the UK, and 12 hospitals across 10 states here in the US. As cliche as this sounds, just think of the children, think of the sheer number of children whose lives we can make a little bit better. These kids go through things we can't even imagine unless we have been there. Also, think about down the road, when these kids get out of the hospital, grow up to have jobs and incomes, and the holidays come around. Maybe they will think back to what we did for them now, and maybe, just maybe, they will find a way to do something similar, something even bigger.
Go to their site, read some of the letters from people who were patients when they were kids, and can testify to how much these toys and games can truly help, read the letter from a father who tells you just how relieving it is to hear their sick child laugh, even though they are stuck in bed and filled with tubes and wires. Print off one of their fliers are toss them up on community bulletin boards, and in your local game store, and your arcade (ask first). Pick a hospital and see what they are asking for and donate, it is all done through amazon.com, which means you can trust that they are going to get what you buy. Go to the site and make a paypal donation, even a couple of bucks will help get more stuff for these kids. Tell your company PR person about the charity, tell the company president, maybe they will make a big donation. Tell every gamer you know, tell every non gamer you know. These are our kids in our hospitals, I don't know about you, but if I have to pick a group of people I want to help the most, sick kids falls at the top of my list.
Also, pass this info along to your representing and senators. Show them that there legions of gamers out there that want to help this world we live in.
I am going to end this post with a quote from one of the authors of Penny Arcade. If you do nothing else, just go to the website and look it over on you lunch break, it can't hurt to just look, and maybe when you see what's there, you will feel the urge to donate.
"What the Internet has done is remove the barriers to impulsive actsLooks like I finally found something to write about, wish I had found it sooner.
of generosity," stated Jerry Holkins, of Penny Arcade. "When clicking a
couple of times amounts to an act of genuine compassion, you can find Good