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As we wrap up 2016, we want to take a moment to reflect on the last year

As we wrap up 2016, we want to take a moment to reflect on the last year and share what we have planned for 2017.

The past year saw one of the biggest changes to Child’s Play since it was founded, we made a change in how our giving campaign works.  In past years, we’ve sent our domestic partner hospitals an identical in-kind gift of consoles, games, accessories and movies. This year, we divided the shipment into two parts: a check designated specifically to their Child Life program and a smaller in-kind gift with a choice of console best suited for each hospital’s needs.

Since 2004, the Child’s Play Dinner Auction has given the supporters of Child’s Play an excuse to don their finest and spend an evening together. This year, hundreds of people from the gaming and tech community gathered to raise money and celebrate another successful year of Child’s Play. We raised over $160k this year, with the surprise item of the evening being A Year Of Custom Coffee Roasting From Penny Arcade’s Tycho Brahe.  Thank you to everyone who donated items and attended the dinner this year.

2016 was the biggest year for our grant program ever.  We provided nearly 30 grants to libraries, shelters, schools, trauma centers, transitional housing, day programs and more to help them purchase games and systems. We have also helped bring VR setups to hospitals for therapy and distraction as well as iPads to special education classrooms and inpatient psychiatric units.  For more information on our grant program, please email foundation@childsplaycharity.org.

Looking ahead to 2017 we are really excited about what we have in store.  Child’s Play has been working with EEDAR to develop our Therapeutic Gaming Guide, and we are teaming up with them again to classify the therapeutic properties of every game from mobile to VR that comes out for the next three years.

Many programs we are funding through our grants will take off in 2017, here are just a few:

CoRe Gaming Group: A therapist-led group for students using video games to strengthen their social skills and develop behavior and emotional management strategies.

Gold Rush Cure Foundation: A nonprofit working to deliver a shortened time to mass market for Virtual Reality systems in hospitals, a leapfrogging of the current solutions, with installation, testing and analysis of systems, user recommended guide of solutions and options, pros and cons for hospitals, and a lot of happy kids who get to experience VR now.

Bungie Foundation’s iPads for Kids program: The mission of this project is to reduce distress and suffering in children by providing patients with fully customized age-appropriate entertainment that allows for distraction, therapeutic play, and a sense of normalcy that is vital to creating a positive hospital experience in an otherwise stressful and scary situation.

We are continuing our Gamers Give Back tours with our amazing partners over at Game Changers.  We are planning the next 15 hospital visits now, with the first ones being early January. These are an opportunity for us to meet the child life staff that are doing the great work we support and find out how we can fine tune the help we are giving to maximize your donations.

After the success of our PAX West booth, we are planning booths and new merchandise at both PAX South and PAX East.  Look for us there. We would love to visit and share more of what we are doing.