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Gamers Outreach & Xbox FanFest 2019

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During last year’s E3, we had the opportunity to partner with the team at Xbox in support of Gamers Outreach programs. Ticket sales from Xbox FanFest generated $20,000, enabling us to build a fleet of GO Karts for UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital.  Additionally, Aaron Greenberg led a fundraising campaign in memory of Xbox Addict, which helped us place a GO Kart in Phoenix Children’s Hospital, honoring his legacy.

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This year we sat down with the Xbox team and asked: how can we make an even greater impact, not just in Los Angeles, but around the country? And how can fans be more a part of this work?

With that in mind, we’re ecstatic to share Gamers Outreach will be attending E3 2019 as the official charity partner of Xbox FanFest! Gamers Outreach founder Zach Wigal and Xbox FanFest lead Chris Munson recently unveiled news of the relationship, as well as our plans to fulfill GO Kart requests for current hospitals on the Gamers Outreach waiting list. You can catch the full segment below.


Proceeds from Xbox FanFest ticket sales will fund Gamers Outreach programs. This year however, the resources of the community will have a coast-to-coast impact.

Additionally, Xbox will be selling specially designed Xbox FanFest avatar shirts. Sales from these digital goods will also help raise funds in support of GO Karts for our hospital waiting list. We are happy to announce those shirts are available starting today! Between June 3 – 14, the two shirts in the Xbox Avatar store, which closely resemble the official Black and White E3 FanFest t-shirts, will be available for purchase. This coveted item will only be available for this limited time, so make sure you get yours while they’re available!

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Finally, as part of this effort, we’re encouraging Xbox fans to register as volunteers on the Gamers Outreach website. When the time comes to deliver these GO Karts, we’ll need gamers around the country to help support each unit and assemble them once they’ve arrived to their designated hospitals.

We’re incredibly grateful to the Xbox family for inviting us to be a part of their Xbox FanFest plans for another year. We’re looking forward to a spectacular E3, and can’t wait to see the impact of the gaming community fully realized!

Racing Team Supports Gamers Outreach

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For a long time now, Gamers Outreach Karts (GO Karts) have been loosely associated with racing through name alone. We refer to volunteers as members of our “race crew,” and send “tune up kits” to hospitals when new games need installed on deployed units.

Today, we’re excited to share our official entry into the world of ACTUAL racing. Gamers Outreach is partnering with professional racing consultancy / karting team Phil Giebler Racing (PGR) in support of providing entertainment to hospitalized patients!

Based in Anaheim, California – PGR was established in 2010 to bring higher, more professional standards to karting, with the goal of developing young and emerging talent in tomorrow’s IndyCar, NASCAR, and Formula 1 drivers.

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For those unfamiliar with the world of racing: karting is the bedrock for most all professional drivers. It’s through karting young racers develop the necessary skills to compete in professional class events (just like Forza, but in real life).

We’ll be working with the PGR team to raise awareness and funding in support of Gamers Outreach programs during an assortment of their upcoming events – one of which included their 2019 kickoff with 2009 Formula 1 world champion, Jenson Button (see video below)!


What’s more: one of the team’s drivers, Nicky Hays, is repping Gamers Outreach on his Formula 4 vehicle as he works his way to the top of the racing ladder throughout Europe and here in the states! We’ll be posting about Nicky’s racing accomplishments occasionally on social, because honestly, how cool is it knowing the Gamers Outreach logo is on a race car!?

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We’re proud to share the PGR crew has already funded a GO Kart through their 2019 kickoff event, and we can’t wait to deliver the unit to a hospital in SoCal!

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We’re excited to see this crossover integration develop, and look forward to being a part of PGR events! If you’re ever interested in joining us at the track, drop a line over to our contact@ box with the subject line “Let’s race!” We’re hoping to organize a few track days with our supporters in the future!

A big thanks go out to the PGR crew for supporting our work in hospitals. We hope to see you on the grid!

FaZe Cizzorz visits UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital

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Back in January, Cizzorz of FaZe Clan (known recently for his Fortnite “Death Runs”) powered up his Twitch stream to announce he’d be hosting a charity marathon in support of Gamers Outreach programs. His goal? Build as many GO Karts for UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital as possible.

After a 12+ hour broadcast, Cizzorz and his community not only created a new Fortnite run, but generated $18,251 for Gamers Outreach! That amount was enough to build 5 GO Karts, capable of supporting 11,000 children per year!

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Just a few weeks ago, we had the opportunity to visit UCLA Mattel where Cizzorz had the chance to see his fundraising efforts come to fruition. A group of kids waited eagerly in the hospital’s teen center – ready to game – aware they were being visited by a special guest. With a smile from ear to ear, Cizzorz walked through the door and not only saw his community’s GO Karts, but shared in the joy of gaming with children at the hospital.

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The portability of GO Karts allow them to go from room to room – a huge perk for patients who are stuck during long term treatment. Cizzorz was able to meet with a young man named Jack, who’s currently going through such an experience, and also happens to be really good at Rocket League.

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Kelli Carroll, a Child Life program director at UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital tells us “this is why gaming is really important for our patients – it provides distraction, a creative outlet and social interaction (be it online or in person) for kids who are unable to physically be present in our play spaces”.

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Our team is incredibly grateful to do this work, and it’s wonderful to be able to bring content creators like Cizzorz into the hospital environment to spread the sense of community games are capable of facilitating.

Big thanks to the team at UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital for helping to host this visit, and of course, to Cizzorz and his community for the epic GO Kart delivery! GG WP.

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Gamers for Giving – 2019 Grand Total

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We’re so grateful to all the gamers who supported this past weekend’s fundraising efforts at Gamers for Giving. This year’s $500K goal was our largest target to-date, and the community once again demonstrated its generosity. What an incredible 11th anniversary.

Through ticket sales, merch, onsite donations, PDX LAN, sponsorship, and contributions generated via stream broadcasts – Gamers for Giving 2019 has generated an astounding $637,311 in support of providing entertainment to hospitalized children!!!

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Our entire crew is so grateful for the benevolence of the gaming community during this past weekend’s event. The funds you’ve helped raise will make A MASSIVE impact for patients receiving treatment in hospitals. We estimate these new resources will help us support as many as 398,000 more children each year. That’s a HUGE win for kids in hospitals!

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We’re so proud to do this work, and can’t wait for you to see the difference made thanks to this single event. There are thousands of hospitals across the United States alone, and we’re determined to support patients in every single one!

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To everyone who attended, competed, streamed, donated, or spread the word – from the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU!! It wouldn’t have happened without your help.

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Of course, hosting this event would be exceedingly difficult if it weren’t for the support of our sponsors and partners. Companies such as Lightstream, Gamer Advantage, Twitch and many others helped make it all possible. We’re thankful for their commitment to our event and cause!

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We were also proud to be a part of the HCS Grassroots program. Halo holds a special place in our hearts, and it was wonderful to kick off our next decade the same way our first began – with a Halo 3 tournament / LAN party. Congratulations to Therapy Works for taking 1st place! And special thanks to our friends at MLG, ASUS, Beyond, ASTRO, 343, Mad City, and Bluewater for helping bring the competition to life!

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An outpouring of thanks is owed to our streamers – who rallied their communities to help us tackle the weekend’s big goal. Collectively, our on-site stream team’s efforts accounted for almost $222,000 raised during the event! We’re blown away by the power streamers have to impact change, and it’s always a joy to host them as our guests during Gamers for Giving.

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Streaming platforms like Twitch have enabled gamers to raise awareness and funding for causes like never before. It’s truly remarkable witnessing the difference gamers can make through online broadcasts! A special shout out goes to Spofie who was able to raise more than $25,000 (!!!) for GO Karts with help from her viewers! And of course, we have to give credit to Jacksepticeye, whose community raised more than $154,000 leading into this year’s event!

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Last but certainly not least, we owe gratitude to our army of volunteers – whose efforts never go unnoticed at Gamers for Giving. It’s thanks to their generosity Gamers for Giving is a reality. Our crew spends numerous hours throughout the year gathering resources and equipment to bring our annual fundraising event to fruition. Many sacrifice vacation days and time with friends/family to create our event each year – all in the name of making a difference in the lives of hospitalized kids. To all our volunteers – THANK YOU for making this year’s event the most successful Gamers for Giving so far!!

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Photos will be posted in the coming days on the Gamers Outreach Facebook page.

Interested in staying involved with Gamers Outreach programs throughout the year? Be sure to check out our website www.GamersOutreach.org, to keep up with all the latest updates as we work to make video games accessible to hospitalized children! Anyone can start a fundraising campaign at any time throughout the year in support of providing recreation to children in their local hospitals.

From all of us at Gamers Outreach, thank you again to everyone involved!! We’ll see you at the next one!

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Gamers for Giving is THIS WEEKEND!

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Can you believe it??? Our 11th annual Gamers for Giving fundraiser is happening THIS WEEKEND!

On March 23rd & 24th, we’ll be taking over the EMU Convocation Center to chase down a $500,000 fundraising goal in support of providing entertainment to hospitalized children!

If we can reach the target, these funds could enable us to support as many as 365,000 more kids EACH YEAR!

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Here’s how you can help this weekend:

  • Fundraise: This year, we’ve partnered with Tiltify.com, a fundraising platform which allows gamers to stream in support of Gamers Outreach programs! You can start a general fundraiser, or even rally your community to construct GO Karts for a hospital of your preference. Not a streamer? No sweat! You can still use the platform to reach out to friends, family, or colleagues. Launch or support a Gamers for Giving campaign here.
  • Donate: Any amount helps! Donations can be made on our Tiltify portal here!
  • Watch: Head over to our Twitch channel to catch tournament action from our HCS Grassroots event and updates from the show floor! We’ll be live both Saturday and Sunday from 12 PM – 8 PM eastern! We also have a whole bunch of wonderful content creators fundraising in support of the cause!
  • Spread the word: Help share Gamers for Giving hype on social media! Sharing our cause with friends or plugging the stream broadcast can go a long way in building support! Be sure to use our event hashtag #GFG2019!

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If you’re attending the event in-person, we’ll have an assortment of raffle prizes and Gamers Outreach swag available for donors. Attendees may purchase raffle tickets for $5 each, or 5 tickets for $20.

And finally, Gamers for Giving wouldn’t be possible without the support of our incredible sponsors. Please be sure to give them some appreciation for helping us produce this year’s fundraiser!

We’ll see you on March 23rd & 24th at the EMU Convocation Center!

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Gamers Outreach on CNN

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Exciting news, Gamers Outreach community! Our founder Zach Wigal has been named a 2019 CNN Hero!

CNN Heroes celebrates “everyday people changing the world,” each of whom shows how one person can truly make a difference.

Wigal, who founded Gamers Outreach in 2007, is representing our cause as part of this year’s list of nonprofit change agents.

As a team, we’re proud to share this honor with our volunteers and donors who make a difference for kids in hospitals every day! We hope this recognition is of benefit to the families we work to support in healthcare facilities nationwide.

You can check out the full article / videos on CNN’s website here.

As of this blog post, our annual Gamers for Giving fundraiser in is two weeks (great timing)! We hope you’ll join us at the EMU Convocation Center on March 23rd & 24th to celebrate this victory, and help make an even bigger difference for hospitalized children!

Dev Team Expansion: Welcome Jeff Royle

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In late 2016, we announced the creation of “The Dev Team” (Dev Team). Analogous to an advisory board, our Dev Team will comprise game industry veterans, medical professionals, and corporate leaders dedicated to advancing Gamers Outreach programs through fundraising, advocacy, and guidance.

The Dev Team exists to support directors and staff within Gamers Outreach. They help lead development efforts which grow the impact of Gamers Outreach activities. Their involvement provides our team with a valuable third-party perspective on internal discussions, and their passion for our cause helps rally community action.

This year, we’re hoping to welcome between 3 – 5 new members to our Dev Team to join existing member, Scott “SirScoots” Smith. It’s our intent to cultivate an advisory board comprised of professionals from a wide range of disciplines (both within and outside the gaming industry).

We’ve outlined a few key qualities to guide our consideration of candidates. Dev Team members must be/have…

  • Senior-level professionals with experience working in gaming, medical, or corporate environments.
  • Record of securing grants, sponsorship, or external resources for programs, corporate initiatives, or services.
  • Demonstrated excellence in forming relationships that advanced a particular program, company, or cause.
  • Exemplary leadership skills. Dev Team members must be able to foster a team environment and work collaboratively when necessary.
  • Dev Team members are effective communicators, able to identify areas for improvement, and help advance the organization’s mission.

With that said, today we’re excited to welcome our newest Dev Team member, Jeff Royle.

Jeff is a game industry veteran with over 21 years of experience in business development and game developer relations. Throughout his career, he’s held positions with AMD, Razer, and most recently – NZXT & Lightstream (two sponsors of Gamers Outreach). Jeff has driven product and software partnerships with the likes of Activision Blizzard, Ubisoft, Epic, Bethesda, Valve, Rockstar, 2K, Wargaming, SquareEnix, and Razer – to name a few.

“When I first learned about Gamers Outreach, and then later had the opportunity to visit one of the hospitals that had received GO Karts, I saw firsthand how much impact these devices have for children staying in care facilities,” said Jeff. “Not only do games provide entertainment and a way to connect with friends and family, but more importantly, they help patients heal and not feel isolated in what can be a scary and overwhelming experience. I’ve been fortunate to be part of the video game industry for over 20 years. I’ve seen many smiling faces from players who get to enjoy the games we help create. Getting involved with Gamers Outreach was an easy choice for me. I want to help bring smiles to the faces of those who may need it most.”

“We’re thrilled to formally welcome Jeff to Gamers Outreach,” said Zach Wigal, founder of Gamers Outreach. “His experience in the industry brings a deep level of insight which will surely be valuable as we continue to bring entertainment to hospitalized patients.”

We’re so glad Jeff is part of the team and look forward to having his guidance as we continue to help others level up! Welcome, Jeff!

Leveling Up Metro Detroit

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Exciting news to share, Gamers Outreach supporters! Hospitals throughout our home state are getting a video game upgrade thanks to sponsorship from Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers!

During the month of February, we’ll be rolling out 17 GO Karts to healthcare facilities in southeast Michigan! If an average of 6 – 8 children benefit from each unit per day, it’s possible this fleet of GO Karts could impact as many as 40,000 kids per year!!

As of this blog post, the first 8 units have already been delivered to hospitals throughout the Beaumont Health Network. We had the opportunity to celebrate alongside staff and children at the Royal Oak location just last week.

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At the celebration, we listened to doctors and staff discuss the importance of recreation during a patient’s stay at the hospital. Video games are an incredible tool for healthcare professionals. As we’ve seen firsthand, they’re a source of entertainment, socialization, and distraction. These 17 GO Karts will be of immense benefit for children throughout southeast Michigan for years to come.

Of course, we had to take the GO Karts for a test run. It was a blast playing games with patients and child life specialists throughout the day.

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We’re so grateful to the Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers for helping us expand Gamers Outreach programs throughout the state of Michigan. The full press release with details on this incredible sponsorship can be found below.

Thank you Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers!!

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Saline Mich., January 28, 2019 – Gamers Outreach — a nonprofit organization that provides video game equipment, technology and software to help kids cope during hospital stays — and the Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers Association (MDCDA) have joined forces to provide recreation and healing therapy to pediatric patients using the power of video games. Through a unique sponsorship from the MDCDA, a total of 17 GO Karts (Gamers Outreach Karts) will be delivered to children’s hospitals throughout the Metro Detroit area during the month of February. The first drop off occurs at the Children’s Miracle Network Garden of Beaumont Royal Oak with a special ribbon-cutting on Wednesday, January 30th at 1:00pm.

GO Karts are portable video game kiosks built specifically for the hospital environment. Each unit is equipped with a video game console, monitor, controllers and an assortment of games. The kiosks assist hospital staff in providing patients with access to entertainment and are especially beneficial for children who are unable to leave their rooms during extended treatment. It’s estimated that between six to eight children benefit from a single unit each day.

According to Zach Wigal, Founder of Gamers Outreach, the delivery of 17 GO Karts from the Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers Association represents one of the largest to date and could collectively impact more than 40,000 kids and their families annually.

“We’re so grateful to work with the Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers in support of hospitalized patients and healthcare facilities throughout southeastern Michigan,” Wigal said. “Our organization is focused on improving a patient’s quality of life during treatment, and we believe having access to entertainment and recreation aids the recovery process. This generous sponsorship will allow Gamers Outreach to provide GO Karts to hospitals throughout the Metro Detroit region, bringing joy to thousands of patients for years to come!”

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“Video gaming takes on a new purpose when it helps children cope with extended hospital visits and treatments,” said John Fox, President of MDCDA. “The Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers Association is thrilled to provide ongoing support through our sponsorship of Gamers Outreach and its mission. As we continue our work to put a GO Kart gaming unit in as many hospitals throughout Metro Detroit as we can, we know kids will appreciate that they can forget about their clinical surroundings for a bit and focus on the fun.”

Gamers Outreach exists to address the special need for age-appropriate entertainment within children’s hospitals. Founded in Saline, Michigan, the organization supports nearly 200 hospitals across the United States.

About Gamers Outreach

 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. Gamers Outreach eases those burdens through equipment, technology, and software that help kids cope with long-term treatment. More information can be found at www.GamersOutreach.org. 

About Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers (MDCD)

The Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers Local Marketing Association (LMA) is comprised of 38 Chevrolet dealerships in Southeastern Michigan. It is the MDCD mission to take an active role in local communities and to support the Metro Detroit area by featuring local events, venues, bands, charities and people in its marketing and community outreach campaigns. For a complete listing of the 38 Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers and other information please visit chevydetroit.com.

Gamers for Giving 2019 Registration Has Opened!

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Gamers rejoice across the land! Registration to participate in Gamers for Giving 2019 has opened!

All tickets are sold through our friends at the Intel LANFest series and can be purchased here.

Gamers for Giving 2019 will take place on March 23rd & 24th at the Eastern Michigan University Convocation Center.

This year, we’re hoping to raise $500,000 in support of providing entertainment to hospitalized children across the country. We’ve been able to make incredible progress these last few years, which has largely been made possible thanks to Gamers for Giving!

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As always, news related to this year’s festivities will be available on the Gamers for Giving website. Be sure to check back frequently as we’ll be releasing updates weekly. For a listing of available tickets, see here.

You can help spread Gamers for Giving hype by using the hashtag #GFG2019 on Twitter or Instagram. And even if you can’t make the event – you can still organize a fundraiser in support of the cause!

We hope to see you on March 23rd & 24th at the EMU Convocation Center!

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Annual Summary: 2017 – 2018

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Scott “SirScoots” Smith & Zach Wigal of Gamers Outreach

In our annual report covering 2017 – 2018, Zach Wigal – founder of Gamers Outreach – reflects on our 10 year anniversary, the expansion of our programs, and the impact video games and the video game community are capable of making in hospitals worldwide. For clarity: this report provides a summary of our 2017 financials, which influenced program activities fulfilled in both 2017 & 2018. Distinctions are noted where applicable.

Achievement unlocked: provide entertainment to hospitalized children for 10 years.

The time between 2017 – 2018 marked a special transitional period for Gamers Outreach. As many of our supporters are aware, it was during this past year we celebrated the 10th anniversary of our annual fundraiser, Gamers for Giving. It’s been a decade since a group of high school kids first organized a video game tournament that spawned a movement dedicated to providing entertainment to hospitalized children. And wow, we sure are proud of what’s been accomplished so far!

Before I reflect on the growth we’ve experienced since our last report, I’d like to talk about our mission, sense of identity, and provide perspective on why we feel this work is so important. Internally, our team has crafted a handful of “core beliefs” which guide our program implementation, messaging, and priorities as an organization.

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Our Vision, Mission & Core Beliefs

Gamers Outreach is a nonprofit organization that provides equipment, technology, and software to help patients cope with treatment inside hospitals. We exist to inspire and heal patients through the power of play.

This sense of purpose is guided by five tenets:

  • We are gamers.
    We are video game enthusiasts on a mission to help our fellow gamers in hospitals. We are stewards of an organization that serves as a source of relief for hospital patients, and a conduit for video game enthusiasts to give back through their passion. We have dedicated ourselves to ensuring Gamers Outreach is a trusted charity for gamers and those supported by our work. We are committed to games being used for good. We are a gaming brand that enables interactive experiences in hospitals.
  • We inspire and heal through play.
    We believe access to recreation helps enrich a person’s quality of life. This is especially evident while a person is being treated in a healthcare environment. Our organization provides resources that help make video game content readily available and easy to manage in hospitals.
  • Why do we do it.
    Undergoing medical treatment can often be a scary and isolating experience, especially for young people. We believe video games are diverse platform capable of improving the patient experience. Our programs aid the healing process by providing entertainment, relief, socialization, and a sense of normalcy to families and patients spending time inside hospitals.
  • We value community.
    Our organization was founded by a community of gamers determined to make a difference. Our programs are driven by community involvement. We believe the video game community is capable of doing incredible good. We hope to inspire fellow gamers to engage with their local hospitals.
  • We are stewards – helping others level up!
    Our staff and volunteers embody the identify, mission, and community values of Gamers Outreach programs. We are responsible for ensuring our programs add value to the lives of patients, their families, and hospital staff. Our team bridges the gap between the gaming community and the hospital environment. Every action on behalf of the organization should prioritize the well-being of our community and those we support in hospitals.

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Our Programs

In our time working with hospitals nationwide, we’ve observed healthcare professionals face two primary challenges in relation to providing patients with digital recreation:

  • Many hospitals are not equipped with entertainment devices that make gaming content readily accessible to patients (e.g. consoles, controllers, monitors, games, etc.)
  • When technology is present, it can be difficult for hospital staff to manage entertainment due to a number of factors (unfamiliarity with equipment, existing responsibilities, ease of mobility, bandwidth limitations, etc.)

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The majority of our resources are dedicated towards addressing these challenges through two initiatives:

  • Project GO Kart: Gamers Outreach constructs portable video game kiosks called “GO Karts” (Gamers Outreach Karts). These kiosks enable nurses to easily provide bedside activities to children unable to leave their rooms in hospitals. Each GO Kart is equipped with a gaming console, monitor, and assortment of games. The carts provide a safe, flexible, and efficient way to ensure kids have access to entertainment and coping mechanisms during hospitalization. Each unit also has an internal lift mechanism, which allows healthcare staff to adjust the GO Kart to a patient’s bedside, accommodating a variety of medical scenarios when a patient’s mobility may be limited.
  • Player 2: Player 2 is a program where gamers have the opportunity to apply the knowledge they’ve acquired through gaming in a manner that supports patients and staff within hospitals. By volunteering, gamers become “digital activity managers” and serve by managing equipment, providing tech support, and playing games with patients. Many hospitals receive game donations, but without proper staffing to manage inventory at a mass scale, it can become difficult for tech donations to properly serve patients as intended. Player 2 helps address this issue by ensuring knowledgeable individuals are present to distribute technology and exercise its positive benefits.

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Current Impact

In our last annual report, we noted Gamers Outreach programs were impacting as many as 236,000 patients across ~30 hospitals.

Thanks to investments in scalability, (shoutout to Child’s Play and the team at PUBG Corp.) and with support from the gaming community – we’re proud to share we’ve now constructed GO Karts for nearly 200 hospitals!!

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While a portion of these GO Karts are still in the process of being scheduled for delivery through Q1 and Q2 of 2019, just under 500 units comprise our collective fleet.  When fully deployed, the GO Karts we’ve constructed will be capable of supporting between 1.1 – 1.4 million patients annually!!! 

That’s a 366% increase in the number of children and families with access to play!

Our impact estimate is based on usage feedback we’ve received from hospital staff. On average, we believe between 6 – 8 children benefit from a single GO Kart per day.

That said, there may be instances where the same patient(s) use a GO Kart multiple times in a given period. There may be other instances where a GO Kart is left in a playroom and enjoyed by 20+ patients per day. Our patient impact estimate reflects what we believe to be “potential capacity” for use, given the number of GO Karts which exist in hospitals.

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Nothing quite illustrates growth like a friendly GIF, so I wanted to show you the below image to help provide perspective on our expansion. The first portion of this GIF illustrates the number of hospitals we supported ~early 2016. The second image shows approximate locations of hospitals we’ve built GO Karts for within the U.S. as of this report*:

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As you can see, it’s been a busy couple years, and it’s all been made possible thanks to support from our fellow gamers.

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In addition to building GO Karts, we’ve taken an active role in promoting volunteerism within the gaming community.

As GO Karts are deployed across regions, opportunities are available for video game enthusiasts to assist with setup and tech support inquiries that arise throughout a GO Kart’s lifespan. In fact, the majority of GO Karts we’ve delivered in the past year have been setup by local volunteers!

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For those with interest in making an on-going commitment, Player 2 has become available in 7 hospitals nationwide. Facilities participating in the program include…

  • C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital (Ann Arbor, Michigan)
  • Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children (Huntsville, Alabama)
  • Children’s Hospital of Michigan (Detroit, Michigan)
  • Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (Los Angeles, California)
  • Golisano Children’s Hospital (Syracuse, New York)
  • Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital (Chicago, Illinois)
  • St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

It’s worth noting: each hospital is capable of supporting a limited quantity of Player 2 volunteers, and not all applicants may have the opportunity to participate in the initiative due to availability. That said, applying to volunteer is certainly worthwhile, and may still result in opportunities to help setup GO Karts or assist a hospital with tech support!

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We’ve withheld creating a dedicated web page for the Player 2 initiative as we’re still collecting feedback and working to establish cadence with partnered hospitals. For those interested in getting involved – make sure to submit a volunteer application and continue checking the Gamers Outreach blog for updates on volunteer opportunities!

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Finances

Thanks to a number of generous donors, we’ve been able to expand the impact of Gamers Outreach programs – helping more patients and families than ever before!

2017 marked the first year Gamers Outreach entered seven-figure fundraising territory, generating more than $1.3 million in monetary contributions. Our fundraising growth was made possible thanks to broader awareness of our initiatives, and an increase in overall support across multiple revenue categories (individual donors, stream campaigns, sponsors, grants, earned program revenue, etc).

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We’re proud to share in that same year, 80% of our total expenses were directly related to Gamers Outreach programs (independently verified by Warmels & Comstock). As you can see from the scale of our outreach, these funds made a tremendous difference in our ability to deliver entertainment to hospitalized patients and their families. For those interested, our full Form 990 can be downloaded here.

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Of course, our annual fundraiser Gamers for Giving has continued to unite the gaming community in support of hospitalized patients. By seat count, we believe Gamers for Giving is currently the third largest BYOC LAN party in North America behind QuakeCon and DreamHack. While that’s not a data point we concern ourselves with too much, it’s something I think our community can take great pride in – knowing so many of us come together each year to make an incredible difference in the lives of others.

We celebrated the event’s 10th anniversary this past April, and raised $772K+ for Gamers Outreach programs (to be noted in next year’s annual report). That result was made possible thanks to attendee entry fees, an incredible gift from PUBG Corp, and the generosity of a number of streamers who rallied their communities in support of this year’s effort.

Gamers for Giving 2019 will take place on March 23rd & 24th at the EMU Convocation Center. We can’t wait to usher in a new decade of giving, and hope you’ll join our efforts to make a difference in hospitals! Registration will open in early January, and information for the event can be found at www.GamersforGiving.org.

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Defining Success & The Future

When I think about the future of Gamers Outreach, I try to imagine what the perfect entertainment experience looks like in the hospital environment. I then ask “what can we do as gamers to make that a reality?”

gamingforeveryone

To that end, we’ve been working to define success metrics that assess impact beyond our intuition. We know from personal experience the value games have in our lives. We’ve also clearly observed the sense of joy and relief games help produce for people in hospitals. Going forward, we intend to begin quantifying these observations through a handful of metrics which collectively help us evaluate the “success” of Gamers Outreach programs:

  • Equipment / Content Saturation. Each hospital environment is unique in its ability to house equipment and provide patients with access to content. Simply put: a 600 bed facility has different hardware and content needs than a 20 bed facility. Our long-term goal is to ultimately assist hospitals in reaching their unique “saturation points” so that content is readily available to patients.
  • Patient Engagement. We define patient engagement in terms of access to activity. What entertainment offerings existed (if any) to patients prior to Gamers Outreach programs, and how accessible were those activities to patients? Example: did patients need to wait X hours before they were able to play a video game, or were games available immediately?
  • Improved Patient Outcomes. In our experience, hospitals place a high degree of importance on measuring “patient outcomes.” Loosely defined, this encompasses how quickly / fully a patient recovers during treatment. We believe games are capable of contributing towards improved patient outcomes, and intend to conduct research to determine whether a statistical correlation exists.
  • Improved Patient Experience. For our purposes, we think of patient experience as the overall sentiment a person may have during hospitalization. It can also be an indicator of how a patient “feels” day-to-day. Patients often report their “pain scores” to attending healthcare staff, which help determine sense of comfort or injury tolerance. We believe games are capable of facilitating improved patient experiences, and intend to begin producing annual samples that assess the validity of this belief.

Thank You!

We’re so proud of the work that’s been accomplished thus far. We continue to be humbled by the generosity of the gaming community, and inspired by the courage of hospitalized children and their families. We promise to continue doing our part as gamers to work hand-in-hand with healthcare professionals in an effort to evolve the entertainment experience in hospitals.

Our deepest thanks go out to everyone who has been involved with Gamers Outreach through the years. Whether you tweeted, volunteered, or donated – this has all been made possible with your support.

We look forward to expanding in 2019, and hope you’ll continue to join us on our quest to help others level up!

Have a wonderful new year! We’ll see you in 2019!

*Note: at the time of this post, we’re updating our website back-end. The impact GIF illustrates our current scale, though not all hospitals are listed on our website impact map.