We did not set out to have 2018 be a record-breaking year for Child’s Play, in fact, if you had asked us at the beginning of the year we expected 2018 to be a year where we settled in from a wild 2017. We started off the year developing a plan to make our grant process more sustainable, both financially but also creating a schedule that our small team could manage with everything else we are doing on a daily basis. We worked with GAEMS and FullyLoaded to get phase two of the shelter program up and running, and put in place a plan to make sure we can sustain it for years to come without interruption. At the direction of our new board members, the biggest project we took on this year was finding a Development Director. It took the better part of the year but in November we found a candidate for the position and starting in 2019 Child’s Play will officially have a staff of five people.
While we worked quietly in the background to put all these new processes into place you, the community, continued to support Child’s Play with growing passion, culminating the year with a record year for Desert Bus ($732,113.37) and the annual Child’s Play Dinner Auction.
Desert Bus 2018 has completed its journey at $730,099.— Desert Bus for Hope (@DesertBus) November 16, 2018
We offer our sincere thanks to you: our wonderful viewers, donators, guests, crafters, volunteers, chat moderators, video strike team members, and everyone else involved.
We love you all. pic.twitter.com/rpDttEBvy6
Onstage after the live auction, we celebrated a total that pushed the combined total from Desert Bus and the Auction over $1,000,000. The $267,887 we celebrated was an amazing amount and a hefty sum above what we raised at the dinner last year ($200,000 including auctions, tickets, eBay etc. . .), but it didn’t end there. When we totaled everything up from this year’s auction we crossed the $400,000 mark.
We cannot say it enough, thank you for your support. You have made the last 15 years possible, you have impacted the lives of millions of children, you have helped us change the world.
Play Games, Feel Better
It all started 15 years ago with an Amazon wishlist for Seattle Children’s Hospital. Two weeks and a garage full of toys later the Child’s Play community donated thousands of dollars worth of toys and started an amazing tradition of giving that has impacted the lives of millions of kids.
During this season of giving Child’s Play encourages you to look over the wishlist of a Children’s Hospital near you, find a toy or a game and send it their way. It is hard to put words to the impact that one video game has, but know even one game or a replacement controller impacts hundreds if not thousands of kids a year, bringing a little bit of joy into a frightening and scary situation.
Play Games, Feel Better
When we started our Domestic Violence Shelter program in 2013 we knew the therapeutic value of gaming. The systems provide an invaluable opportunity for staff to build relationships and rapport with the kids in domestic violence programs. Children who have been subject to trauma and abuse are understandably reluctant to build new relationships with people, and the shared experience of playing games together provides common ground. Gaming can be an incredible tool to help break down the barriers that victims of abuse put up around themselves, allowing them to feel a sense of normality and fun at an incredibly difficult time.
Over the past year, we have refined the program, lowering the cost of the systems we deliver to almost a third of the initial offering as well as implementing a regular disbursement schedule. We are sending four shelters a month a GAEMS case with a FullyLoaded Xbox One, loaded with games that were hand-picked with the understanding of the sensitive nature of the shelter environment in mind.