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.