Gamers Outreach is a 501(c)(3) charity organization that provides recreation to children in hospitals through the power of video games and the gaming community. Hospitalization can often be a lonely, isolating, and scary experience for young people. We ease those burdens by providing equipment, technology, and software that help kids cope with long-term treatment.
We began as a group of high school students who enjoyed hosting video game tournaments. As our tournaments grew, we began donating profits from our events to charity.
In 2009, we approached Mott Children’s Hospital in our hometown of Ann Arbor, Michigan with the intention to deliver as many video games as possible to kids within their facility. After meeting with the hospital’s staff, we realized we could go a step further. We began working directly with the hospital’s nurses and child life specialists to provide something more specific: accessible activities for kids during long-term stays.
After spending six months volunteering at Mott, we built our first “GO Kart” (Gamers Outreach Kart) – a portable, medical-grade gaming kiosk nurses could use to transport video games and entertainment to children who were unable to leave their rooms within the hospital.
The first cart was frequently used by Mott’s staff, and we were able to witness firsthand the impact it made in the lives of the children it served. Kids who were unable to socialize or participate in therapy now had easy access to recreation. The carts made an incredible difference.
We also witnessed the wide variety of ways video games are used within hospitals as a means to provide relief. Whether it be for distraction, socialization, or even education, there are a range of purposes games can serve within medical environments.
Today, Project GO Kart serves thousands of children per year in hospitals around the country. But there are still many hospitals, families, and children who have not been helped!
That’s where you come in! Through Gamers Outreach, gamers have the opportunity to make a tangible difference in the lives of children in hospitals! You can make a donation to help us build more carts and ensure games are accessible within the medical environment. You can even start a fundraiser to support a hospital of your choosing!
See all the ways you can help families coping with hospitalization by Getting Involved.