As we kick off 2015 with big plans and enthusiasm, we wanted to take time to reflect and share our gratitude for the incredible year that was 2014 thanks to the Child’s Play community. Our beneficiary network saw unprecedented growth, we had amazing participation in community events, and gamers came together to raise more than ever before.
We’re happy to announce that in 2014, the Child’s Play community raised $8.43 million for children in our network of hospitals and domestic violence shelters worldwide.
What a fantastic achievement - another year of breaking our previous record by over a million dollars and ensuring that kids around the world will have their tough time made a little brighter by the presence of games and toys donated by you, the amazing game community. That brings our lifetime total to a stunning $33.6 million dollars since our founding in 2004. I don’t think that anyone could have imagined a toy drive for Seattle Children’s Hospital would have ever grown to this, but we are so glad and grateful that it has.
It wouldn’t be possible without the support of the video game industry and community. We have an incredible group of corporate sponsors, which you can see below this post, to whom we are deeply grateful. We also wouldn’t be here without each and every individual donor: whether you chipped in a few dollars through a Humble Bundle, purchased something off of an Amazon Wishlist, or sent a direct donation, every bit adds up to our awe-inspiring, record-breaking total year after year. It’s because of the grassroots generosity and the kindness of an entire community that we’re able to help such a huge network of kids who really need it.
Speaking of which, that network was able to grow leaps and bounds thanks to your support this year. We added over one hundred facilities from 2013: we now have 112 hospitals and 110 shelters in our network, which is simply amazing. Hundreds of thousands of lives are being touched by the gifts that you give, and we cannot thank you enough for the kindness and generosity you show as gamers and people. Thank you for such a monumental 2014, and here’s to a fantastic 2015!
Here at Child’s Play, we love to work with the student community. Whether it’s early education, high school, college- whatever the age, we’ve seen them do some incredible things. With the holiday break now behind us, students are heading back to the classroom and we’d like to share some of the ways that they (you!) can help us out!
- School publications like newspapers, podcasts, radio shows, TV news, blogs - you name it, we are happy to chat with you about what we do at Child’s Play.
- Oftentimes students are assigned research projects but have freedom to choose a topic. We’ve had students send in work ranging from how play improves the healing processes, how community fundraising is effective (and could be more effective), the benefits of video games, and much more. Scientific data regarding many Child’s Play related topics is constantly emerging, and can be a powerful and interesting subject to study.
- Organizing and hosting fundraisers is an awesome way to get involved. Students generally have access to some wonderful resources, like event space and volunteers to help out. We’ve seen bake sales, game nights, marathons and tournaments, and the sky is the limit!
- Students focused on the arts have sent us beautiful work that they complete for school projects. We’ve seen graphic design, illustrations, web design, animations, and more.
One group of aspiring animators from The New England Institute of Art spent the last few months creating a promotional video for Child’s Play as part of their curriculum. It is very cool to see the process from start to finish, and they were able to work with a real client and have a final impact that helps spread the word about a cause they feel strongly about. Check out their video:
They also wrote an in-depth production blog outlining their goals, process, and key learnings.
Student projects like this are great ways to spread the word participate in our awesome community. If you’d like to interview us, do a Child’s Play-related project, or run a student fundraiser, get in touch!
Child’s Play works hard to provide children worldwide with entertaining, enjoyable video games. Games allow kids in the hospital to take their minds off of a scary situation and just be a kid for a bit. However, not all video games are exactly ‘enjoyable’. Enter: Desert Bus for Hope, an annual event in which the fine folks at LoadingReadyRun play the game Desert Bus for days on end to raise money for Child’s Play. Equal parts game marathon and sketch comedy show, Desert Bus for Hope manages to make monotony magical.
Before it is possible to grasp Desert Bus for Hope, one must understand Desert Bus the game. From Desert Bus for Hope’s press release:
“In the Sega CD game “Desert Bus”, the player controls a virtual bus that drives an eight-hour-long strip of highway between Tucson, Arizona, and Las Vegas, Nevada, on an endless loop. The game is a “verisimulator”—a tongue-in-cheek parody of other simulation games— which attempts to approximate the real-life situation of driving a coach bus as closely as possible, including the associated tedium. The player is required only to ensure that the bus stays on the road: if they crash, they are towed back to the start and have to try again. Originally part of “Penn & Teller’s Smoke and Mirrors”, Desert Bus is considered to be the most boring video game ever created.”
November 18, 2011 marks the start of Desert Bus for Hope 5, and the LoadingReadyRun team is working to make it bigger and better than ever. Traditionally, there are at least 1500 people watching the Desert Bus for Hope livestream at any time during the event, and for good reason: they hold silent and live auctions, host interviews from game industry greats and geek culture celebrities, and are willing to sing, dance, and generally make fools of themselves for viewer donations. To date, Desert Bus for Hope has raised an incredible $443,077.00. According to Paul Saunders, one of the founding members of LoadingReadyRun, “The mixture of generosity and spite is a really powerful thing.”
To learn more about Desert Bus for Hope, follow them on Twitter (@desertbus), visit their website (www.desertbus.org), and most importantly, tune in starting November 18th. You’re not going to want to miss this.