What happens when you play a game? Do you have fun? Do you forget your troubles for a while? Does the world just melt away as you become immersed in the game? Does time seem to fly by and before you know it hours have passed? The answer is most likely, yes. After a stressful day, games can help you to feel better.
For the children who are in hospitals, games are one of the only ways to escape. Games help them forget, even if for a moment, that they are sick and stuck in a hospital. Games provide a distraction when blood needs to be drawn, or when various other procedures need to be been performed. Games, in this environment, are a tool to aid the Child Life staff in helping the children feel more comfortable, to feel better.
“Play Games, Feel Better.” Who knew such a simple statement could mean so much to so many.
This week we are sending out our annual gift to all of our partner hospitals.
It is thanks to the continued support of the Child’s Play community that we are able to support over 140 hospitals worldwide. This $1.5 million will be used to update consoles, replace broken iPads, restock game libraries, purchase replacement controllers and so much more.
All of this is made possible by you, please consider signing up for a monthly donation to help us continue to support into the next 15 years.
Play Games: Feel better
One of the most impactful elements of Child’s Play’s work in recent years has been our grants program. They allow us to help support dozens of non-profit organizations that help children and teens using therapeutic gaming, hugely increasing the reach and effectiveness of our mission. Going forward we are accepting Child Life Tech position and other industry-changing grants in Q1, the deadline being March 15th. These type of grants are our priority, and we think will have the greatest impact on our mission in the long run. We will then accept hospital and clinical equipment grants in Q2, deadline June 15th. Then in Q3, we will accept any grants that missed those deadlines, or any grants that don’t fit into those categories. With this plan, we also changed our one grant per organization per year policy to one grant application per quarterly grant period, with a maximum of two per year.
We’d like to share our 2018 grants with you, to demonstrate how much great work is made possible by your donations.
Game To Grow
Game To Grow shares with Child’s Play a belief that games of all kinds have the power to make a profound positive impact on people’s lives. They use tabletop games to teach young people to become more confident, creative and socially capable. Games like Dungeons & Dragons aren’t just a fun opportunity for players to use their imaginations, they can allow them to learn key social skills such as
- Taking the perspective of others
- Improving their tolerance for being frustrated
- Learning to creatively solve problems
- Communicating and collaborating with others
Tabletop gaming that allows young people to learn these skills without feeling like they’re being taught, providing both structured rules and unpredictable outcomes. The Game To Grow team is passionate about the difference that gaming can make, and we’re proud to facilitate that through our grants program.
Funding Tech Specialist Positions
We’ve spoken before about how much difference gaming and technology specialists can make to the lives of young people in hospitals, and this grant allowed us to fund even more of these specialist positions. Thanks to your donations, Technology Specialists are now being hired to the Child Life departments of:
- Golisano Children’s Hospital of SW Florida
- Seattle Children’s Hospital and Research Foundation
- Memorial Medical Center Foundation (Miller Children’s)
- Texas Children’s Hospital
- C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital
If you’d like more information about Tech Specialist positions, you can check out this article and accompanying video about the work of the tech specialist at Children’s Hospital Colorado that was hired from our grant last year.
Funding a Medical Director of Child Life at Children’s Hospital Colorado
While the difference that a Child Life Professional can make is huge, they aren’t universally accessible to hospitals around the country, and many medical professionals are unaware of the benefits that a CCLP (Certified Child Life Professional) can provide. It’s crucial in coming years to advance the field of Child Life care by elevating the credibility and visibility of the field, with the aim of making CCLPs a standard part of the care in hospitals.
As one of the leading Child Life departments in the country, Children’s Hospital Colorado were perfectly positioned to partner with Child’s Play to create a unique role to help address these problems. This grant allowed them to hire a Medical Director of Child Life, who works closely with both the department and doctors of other relative disciplines on initiatives to help advance the field. The Medical Director can facilitate child-life research, identify and implement new technologies and lobby for new grants and funding on behalf of the Child Life department.
As well as these larger projects, we also offer numerous smaller grants for equipment purchases for hospitals and care facilities all across the country. We’ve offered 14 grants for new VR equipment, and 10 more for grants to buy items such as consoles, iPads and other devices that can make a stay in the hospital much more bearable.
One notable grant that we were able to provide this year was purchasing a set of MRI goggles for Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara. An MRI scan can take over an hour, which is an arduous experience even for adults. Since MRI machines are powerfully magnetic, traditional entertainment or distraction methods can’t be used. MRI goggles contain no magnetic metals at all, and can display movies or calming apps for patients undergoing an MRI. Due to the specific parts and engineering required, these are very expensive. It was only through your donations that this grant could happen, and young patients undergoing these scans are able to have some relief during the procedure.
All Of These Grants Are Thanks To You
We can’t say it often enough: these grants, and all the good that they do, are only possible thanks to your donations. Every child whose experience in hospital is a little easier thanks to a toy, game, VR headset or the care of a CCLP has you to thank.