Today marks the official launch of the Child’s Play holiday season! Every year we are so honored and amazed by the support of the community, and this year is already no different. We have a bunch of really exciting announcements, including Early Bird pricing for the Dinner and Desert Bus for Hope, but we also have some awesome new programs for you to check out: Amazon Smile, the Power Up campaign, and the Gamers Give Back Tour! 2015 has been a great year for Child’s Play already and we know that the community is just getting started.
As we announced last week, this year’s Child’s Play Dinner Auction will be held December 10, 2015. For the first year ever, we’ll be offering Early Bird pricing for individual tickets! Tickets are $10 off until November 15th, at which time they’ll go back to the regular price of $145. We’re excited for another year of incredible auction items, fancy outfits, and butternut squash ravioli. Grab your Early Bird individual tickets here or your sponsored tables here. We hope you’ll join us!
The start of the Child’s Play season is marked by a very special tradition: Desert Bus for Hope! The 9th of it’s kind, to be exact, and it begins November 14th, 2015 at 10AM PST. If you’re unfamiliar with Desert Bus for Hope, it’s a charity gaming marathon like no other. Hosted by the talented internet sketch comedy group Loading Ready Run, Desert Bus is a week-ish long drive across a digital desert playing the most boring game ever made. There are auctions, challenges, songs, dances, spooky stories and no end of shenanigans. Desert Bus 8 raised a whopping $643,242.58, which is just staggering - the community rallies during this week in an inspiring way. No matter when you tune in, you should see a familiar face - Robert, Kristin, Jamie, and Erick are all planning to visit the Lunar Module Mk. 2 at some point during the ride. Definitely bookmark desertbus.org and check it out throughout the week!
As you may know, the Amazon Wishlist system has always been foundational to our program in working with our network hospitals. With over 120 facilities in our network, we have more wishlists than ever before and it’s more likely that you can donate to a deserving children’s hospital in your area. In addition to our wishlists, you can also now use Amazon Smile during your regular Amazon shopping to donate to Child’s Play! Head to Smile.Amazon.com to assign Child’s Play as your default cause, and then when you shop, navigate to smile.amazon.com. Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to Child’s Play- it doesn’t cost you anything, and it really adds up! Whether you’re picking out gifts for your local facility from our wishlist, doing holiday or black friday shopping, or grabbing your regular groceries: when you shop from smile.amazon.com and donate to Child’s Play it makes a big difference.
Speaking of Amazon, the team at Merch by Amazon contacted us with a generous offer earlier this year: let’s work together to create something that the game community will love, and 100% of the proceeds will go to Child’s Play. Thus, the Power Up campaign was born! We created a t-shirt based on the idea of the community’s generosity providing a buff, a power-up for the kids in our hospitals and domestic violence shelters. Over the next few months, game studios will have the opportunity to do the same and list their shirt on Merch by Amazon. The community will have the chance to buy and share the shirts they love, and 100% of the proceeds will go to Child’s Play. Pretty awesome, right? Check out the Child’s Play Power Up shirt, and keep an eye on our Twitter for designs from devs.
We’ve talked a lot about ways to support Child’s Play this holiday season, but let’s take a moment to highlight one of the wonderful programs that your donations make possible. In partnership with GameChanger charity, Child’s Play has launched the Gamers Give Back tour. We’re visiting 15 hospitals with the mission to bring an afternoon of hope and joy to the patients, families, and the staff. We cater a ‘comfort food’ meal, bring presents and toys for kids and siblings as well as gifts for staff. We know that the wishlist gifts and annual shipments make a huge impact, and reinforcing that with an afternoon of excitement and happiness serves to acknowledge the hard work of the individuals serving the patients and the patients themselves. We’re so grateful for the donations that make the tour possible, and we’ll be highlighting some of our tour stops throughout the season.
Child’s Play has been able to brighten the lives of millions of children, and that number grows every day. It’s thanks to you, our community, that we are able to do what we do. Thank you.
This month we wanted to highlight longtime Child’s Play supporters Supercommuter. You may have seen them perform at PAX or heard their awesome music. Something you may not know is that 100% of their album proceeds are donated to Child’s Play, or the touching reason why. We asked Andy Myers, also known as Stenobot of the Supercommuters, to share his story.
Wheelie Cyberman, Julian (Itty Bitty Bot), Tron Juan, and Stenobot
“One question I get a lot is “Why does Supercommuter give all its album profits to Child’s Play?” The answer is more of a story, actually. In June of 2009, shortly after we finished recording the first Supercommuter album, my then three-year-old son (and Tron Juan’s nephew) Julian was diagnosed with leukemia—high-risk pre-B acute lymphoblastic leukemia, for all you medical nerds out there. Without warning, our lives were basically flipped upside down. Hospitals, doctors, and sick kids quickly became the norm. We were facing three-plus years of chemotherapy and other treatments, and the short- and long-term side effects that come along with them. We had a long road ahead.
For me, many things that once seemed so important—for example, making music and releasing albums—now felt a lot less so. All the non-essential stuff in our lives quickly faded away as we prepared for a long season of taking care of Julian. Over the next few months, we spent a lot of time in the Cancer Care facilities at Children’s Hospital in Seattle. Being in the hospital is hard, especially on the kids. A lot of them are stuck in the hospital for long periods of time, cut off from the outside world. These are just normal kids, and they can’t even go outside to play. Something as simple as having toys and videogames around makes a big difference. It gives them a little piece of home, of normalcy in a world where everything else seems backwards. The fact that an Xbox or Wii is waiting outside their room gives them something to look forward to after being poked and prodded. Also, games bring the kids together and give them a reason to get outside of their rooms. They facilitate a sense of community.
I’m sure a lot of you have dealt with cancer in one way or another. It sucks. It makes us feel so helpless. What can you do? Well, the truth is that there are things you can do. Supporting Child’s Play is one of those things. I like Child’s Play because it’s such a practical, tangible way to help. Having toys and games to play with makes an immediate difference in these kids’ lives. They’re also the first things to go when hospitals need to make budget cuts. Over the past few years, we’ve had a number of awesome, surprising experiences in the hospital that we knew were the result of Child’s Play funding—one particularly on Christmas Day, when we were unexpectedly stuck in the hospital over the holidays. In hindsight, they’re little things—but they meant so much in those desperate moments.
Julian is in remission now, and his chemotherapy is almost over. Why do we continue to give our album sales to Child’s Play? Well, Supercommuter has always been a labor of love, for myself and everyone else in the band. Giving to Child’s Play is something we know we can do. And it just feels like the right thing to do. It’s a small thing really, in the grand scheme of things. But it’s our thing, and we’re happy and honored to donate our music to a cause we all believe in.”
We are so grateful, honored, and touch by the generosity of Supercommuter and the community of incredible, supportive fans. If you’re attending PAX Prime this year- go rock out with these incredibly awesome musicians. Thank you, Supercommuter, for your wonderful support!
Here at Child’s Play, we often talk about the incredible community that supports us and how much it means to the cause. Fundraising comes in many forms, and this month we’d like to recognize the incredible organization of the Humble Bundle.
The Humble Bundle packages indie games into one collection, allowing the buyer to not only choose how much they want to pay, but also who they want the money to goto. Since 2010, Child’s Play has been honored to participate in the fundraiser, and incredibly enough, the fifth iteration, Humble Bundle V, has just hit the $3 million mark. The support provided by the Humble Bundle team and theircontributors makes a huge impact on our network of hospitals, and in turn, the lives of thousands of kids across the
We recently visited one of our partner facilities to see some of the impact provided by donation like the Humble Bundle. We were able to see a number of kids who had been positively impacted by your donations, includeding a young man named Stanley.
Stanley is severly autistic and mostly non-verbal; he is prone to outbursts and seizures.Stanley uses an iPad that the facility received from Child’s Play for many purposes: Adaptive software provides him with communication tools to speak for him, movies allow him to be educated and entertained, and a touchscreen enables him to interact
and play without struggle.
Most incredibly, Stanley has used his iPad to learn to play the piano. To an assembly of over 200 people, Stanley played “How to Save a Life” so beautifully that many of the guests were moved to tears. Donations made through Child’s Play make a huge impact in the lives of children like Stanley and many others in hospitals and care facilties around the world, and it’s all thanks to you.
From all of us at Child’s Play, thank you to the Humble Bundle staff, participating developers, and bundle purchasers.