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Xbox Holiday Giveaway – Thanks PUBG!

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Over the past year, we’ve been honored to receive an incredible amount of support from our friends at PUBG Corp. Collectively, with help from the community, the PUBG team has been able to raise more than $363,000 in support of Gamers Outreach programs.

That’s a lot of chicken dinners… and GO Karts for kiddos.

It all started earlier this year with the 2017 Charity Invitational. During a single 12 hour event, streamers joined together to raise more than $200,000 for Gamers Outreach, with $100K coming via a direct contribution from the game’s developers. Closing out the year strong, PUBG and Twitch recently teamed up again to host a winter charity fundraiser – generating an additional $140,000 to further our work in hospitals.

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And did we mention 50% of their merchandise sales are being donated to Gamers Outreach and our friends at GameChanger? How generous can one game dev be!?

As a small token of appreciation, we’re giving away five game keys for the newest iteration of PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS, recently made available on Xbox!

You can enter for the chance to win by clicking here.

Each action grants an additional entry, so be sure to increase your chances!

Our deepest thanks go out to PUBG Corp. and the community of gamers who’ve helped been a part of this year’s massive fundraising effort. We can’t wait for you to all see the result of this work as GO Karts are deployed nationwide!

 

Huntsville Children’s Receives GO Karts!

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The Gamers Outreach holiday season is in full swing and dedications from our recent batch of GO Karts continue! Last week we had the chance to visit Huntsville Hospital for Women and Children. Thanks to a generous contribution from our sponsor ADTRAN, two GO Karts were delivered to patients at the facility!

Local WHNT News 19 was on site to cover the event, and grabbed a few quotes from our founder as well as the child life specialists at the hospital:

Patients and staff alike were elated by the addition of the new GO Karts, and both units were put to use as soon as they arrived. With a fairly limited supply of toys and games at the hospital, it was apparent these two GO Karts are going to have an immense impact for patients and their families. Full coverage from the event can be found here.

ADTRAN, a sponsor of Gamers for Giving 2017, has been incredibly supportive of Gamers Outreach programs. With a large presence of employees in Huntsville, the ADTRAN staff chose to make their first GO Kart delivery to Huntsville Children’s in an effort to support their local community. The GO Karts were built thanks to the company’s employee donation program (Team ADTRAN), and we were excited to share the experience of a GO Kart delivery with members from their crew.

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This contribution marks our first foray into the state of Alabama, and we’re so proud ADTRAN helped make it possible! We hope it’s just the first of many more to come.

Our thanks go out to Team ADTRAN for their support of Gamers Outreach & Gamers for Giving, and of course, to the staff and patients of Huntsville Women & Children’s for accomodating our delivery! We hope you enjoy your GO Karts!

For the kids, by the kids: CHLA Receives 10 GO Karts

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Last week, we had the opportunity to celebrate Giving Tuesday with our friends at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles – and to say the least, it was a special day.

10 brand new GO Karts have been dedicated to serve patients at the hospital. Appropriately, these units were built thanks to the fundraising efforts of some of the youngest donors we’ve had the pleasure to work with – The Junior Ambassadors of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Los Angeles news network KABC-TV channel 7 came out to cover the story:

The Junior Ambassadors of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles are kids and teens from the community who support the hospital’s life saving work. The program offers kids the opportunity to work together and become incredible hospital representatives and fundraisers. It’s a powerful and inspiring model of kids helping kids. Since 2012, Junior Ambassadors have given hope to the Los Angeles community by speaking at various events, sharing their stories and inspiring more than $1.6 million in donations to support the hospital’s patients and families.

Through months of fundraising efforts, the Junior Ambassadors were able to collectively generate more than $35,000 in contributions to build a whopping 10 GO Karts for patients! To date, their delivery ties Aaron Greenberg’s campaign for most carts delivered in a single dedication. This brings the total unit count within Children’s Hospital Los Angeles to 17 GO Karts, the most of any facility we support at the time of this writing. Staff at the hospital have told us they hope to eventually receive/acquire up to 50.

For our team, this delivery was a surreal full-circle moment. It was inspiring to meet children so young eager to make a difference through their shared passion for gaming. The enthusiasm of the young ambassadors goes to show charitable giving can start at any age and through any circumstance. Brooks Vogt, age 7, was excited to give back. He’s beat cancer twice, and told us he enjoyed playing Minecraft on our existing GO Karts during his treatment.

These GO Karts represent the very first units we’ve dedicated to a hospital of our October construction batch. We couldn’t be prouder to have worked with the Junior Ambassadors of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles to see this initial group of GO Karts deployed.

For the kids, by the kids! Hats off to the Junior Ambassadors for making the first delivery of our newest GO Karts a reality for patients at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles!

Many more to come.

GO Kart Race Crew – Volunteers Needed!

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Fellow gamers! As many of you are aware, we’re delivering our latest batch of GO Karts to hospitals across the country.

2018 is going to be a busy year for Gamers Outreach as we work towards escalating our list of supported facilities to nearly 200 locations across the U.S. and Canada! Obviously this is great news! More patients and families will have easy access to entertainment inside hospitals than ever before! However, to accomplish this, we need your help!

We’re looking for volunteers throughout the U.S. & Canada who can assist with regional GO Kart deliveries! If you’ve ever wanted to get involved with Gamers Outreach programs, this is a perfect chance to support work that could be taking place right in your hometown hospital.

Volunteers will be part of our newly formed outreach team, the “GO Kart Race Crew”. As a Race Crew member, you’ll be volunteering to ensure GO Karts are fully operational once they’ve been shipped to hospitals.

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Here’s an overview of how that works:

  • A GO Kart is manufactured and shipped from our warehouse to its new home at a hospital.
  • The GO Kart will mostly be assembled when it arrives to the hospital. However, a monitor, gaming console, and controllers will need to be added to the unit.
  • A Race Crew member (that’s you!) will arrive to the hospital with a group of other volunteers on a specified date. Together, the Race Crew volunteers will assemble the GO Kart, and ensure it’s ready for use within the hospital. This process will takes approximately 1 hour per kart.
  • Once the GO Kart is ready for action, volunteers will take a photo of / with the GO Kart. The photo will be uploaded to the Gamers Outreach impact map for tracking. A Gamers Outreach staff member will communicate with the Race Crew volunteers to ensure the GO Kart has been properly assembled.

That’s the gist of it! Race Crew volunteers will be responsible for overseeing GO Kart deliveries, and assisting with upkeep as time goes by. Volunteer opportunities will be first-come, first-serve, and will largely be based on regional availability of volunteers.

If this is an opportunity that interests you, we invite you to fill out our volunteer application on the Gamers Outreach website! Filling out an application is by no means a firm commitment. It just lets us know that you’re interested so we can reach out with additional information. We’ll reach out to you directly when an opportunity arises!

You can submit a volunteer application by visiting this link.

Hope to see you in the pits throughout 2018!

Save The Date: Gamers for Giving 2018

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Exciting news, fellow gamers! Our next annual Gamers for Giving event will take place on the weekend of April 28th & 29th, 2018!

In case you’re not familiar: Gamers for Giving is a LAN party + streamathon that generates resources for Gamers Outreach programs. Through ticket sales, sponsorship, and online donations, last year’s event raised more than $300,000 in support of providing entertainment devices to children’s hospitals around the nation (which we are now deploying)!

Gamers for Giving will once again take place within the Eastern Michigan University Convocation Center, a venue which hosts a wide array of events including concerts, trade-shows, and banquets. Tickets will go on sale in the month of January (date TBA).

We’ll release more information regarding the 2018 event over the coming months – including our fundraising goals, streaming schedule, and list of activities. As usual, you can expect a full weekend of competitive tournaments and casual LAN camaraderie.

You can stay in sync with the latest news related to Gamers for Giving 2018 by following the Gamers for Giving blog, or following Gamers Outreach on Twitter and Facebook. Be sure to use the official hashtag #GFG2018 on Twitter!

2018 is going to be a massive year for Gamers Outreach. As of this blog post, we’re in the process of scaling our programs from ~30 facilities to nearly 200 across the U.S., Canada, and even a couple hospitals overseas! We can’t wait to share our progress with you at Gamers for Giving. We’re looking forward to another year of gaming competitions and streams in support of hospitalized patients!

Hope to see you at the EMU Convocation Center on April 28th & 29th, 2018!

Gamers Outreach & AbleGamers Team Up For Kids With Disabilities

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Today, we’re thrilled to announce a new partnership with our friends at AbleGamers, a charity organization that provides equipment to children and adults with disabilities who need help accessing video games.

We’ll be partnering with AbleGamers to outfit select GO Karts with their “Expansion Packs” – an assortment of specialized controllers and devices which help make games more accessible to hospital patients with limited mobility. The official press release with all the details can be found below!

It also helps that our organization colors are fairly similar. #TeamOrange

Gamers Outreach and AbleGamers Team Up for Kids with Disabilities
Charity orgs unite to promote gaming accessibility for hospitalized children.

Los Angeles – October 17th, 2017 – Gamers Outreach and AbleGamers are thrilled to announce a new partnership to bring fun to children and adults with disabilities in the hospital setting. AbleGamers is a charity organization that grants custom-made, 3-D printed and specialized equipment to people with disabilities who need help accessing video games. Gamers Outreach is an organization that provides a gaming kiosks (GO Karts) to enable videogames to be brought to anyone anywhere in the hospital. The two charities are partnering to expand accessible gaming opportunities within pediatric environments by equipping select GO Karts with Expansion Packs.

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Expansion Packs by AbleGamers are customized packages of equipment provided to healthcare professionals which contain an assortment of assistive technology such as modified controllers and custom devices used to enable people with disabilities to play video games. AbleGamers also provides accessibility experts to install and maintain these Expansion Packs throughout the life of the project. First launched in early 2016, Expansion Packs have been donated to facilities with multiple special needs patients as a way to ensure gaming experiences are widely accessible.

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GO Karts (Gamers Outreach Karts) are portable video game kiosks constructed specifically for the hospital environment. Each unit is equipped with a gaming console, games, monitor, controllers, and occasionally VR devices. GO Karts are secure mobile entertainment units which allow hospital staff to easily provide children with access to recreation at the bedside environment or during long-term treatment.

Gamers Outreach plans to offer AbleGamers’ Expansion Packs as accessories to GO Karts, with the hope of expanding the variety of materials available to hospital staff who support patients with limited mobility. The partnership will kick off with a joint donation being made to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

“In the hospital environment, we support a wide array of patients, including children who have limited mobility,” said Zach Wigal, Founder of Gamers Outreach. “There’s an obvious synergy between our programs and the work of AbleGamers. The Expansion Packs equipped to our GO Karts will provide healthcare professionals with a diverse entertainment toolkit. Ultimately, we believe these devices will help ensure the joy of gaming is experienced by all patients, regardless of their circumstances.”

“The work we do to support people with disabilities is bigger than us.” said Steven Spohn, AbleGamers COO. “There are 33 million children, adults and veterans with disabilities in America alone. Gamers Outreach has been a friend and ally since the creation of both organizations. It’s a natural fit, now that we both have generous supporters who believe in helping those in need, to come together and help even more people. Together, we will ensure that children inside the hospital and at home can enjoy a distraction from the sometimes scary hospital environment.”

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The partnership will be celebrated October 20th – 22nd at TwitchCon 2017 through a joint exhibition between the two organizations. Streamers and gaming fans attending TwitchCon will have the chance to learn more about each group’s work and contribute to the cause.

More information about the two charities can be found at www.GamersOutreach.org and www.AbleGamers.org.

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About AbleGamers

The AbleGamers Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charity that wields the power of video games to break down the barriers of economic and social isolation for people with disabilities. Through received support and donations, AbleGamers provides disabled gamers with assistive technologies (including their Expansion Pack program) that allow those with limited real-world mobility to experience what it is like to walk, run, climb, drive and even fly – in a virtual world.

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 by providing equipment, technology, and software that help kids cope with long-term treatment.

Microsoft Giving Campaign

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Each year, Microsoft employees participate in fundraising and volunteer activities which support a diverse number of charities. In 2016 alone, more than $142 million was contributed to nonprofits and schools across the globe.

Through the “Giving Campaign,” Microsoft matches employee donations to nonprofits dollar-for-dollar, up to $15K. The Giving Campaign takes place throughout the year, with a special push every October.

This year, we’re proud to announce Gamers Outreach will be visiting Microsoft as a “featured charity” among the many causes Microsoft employees contribute towards. We’ll be hanging out on Microsoft’s Redmond campus on October 9th, 11th, and 19th to raise funds / awareness for Gamers Outreach programs and our anticipated expansion.

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If you’re an employee at Microsoft, we hope to see you throughout the month of October, and look forward to sharing the progress being made in pediatric hospitals nationwide. You can support our efforts and unlock a matching contribution from Microsoft through the Benevity charity portal by searching for “Gamers Outreach Foundation.”

For any of you that may have available hardware or software, we are currently seeking in-kind contributions for controllers, consoles, and games! Anything you can spare would be truly appreciated.

Hope to see you on campus!

Gamers Outreach Receives Community Service Award from SXSW

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Awesome news to share, fellow gamers! We’re proud to announce Gamers Outreach has been selected to receive a Community Service Award from the organizers of SXSW!

The SXSW Community Service Awards celebrate the unique spirit of community in Austin by selecting six individuals and six organizations to receive grants to further their goals, complimentary badges to SXSW, and a chance to spread the word about their work to the SXSW community. As an award recipient, we’ll be one of the organizations to receive more than $50,000 in shared grants and be honored in a ceremony on March 12, 2018 during SXSW.

The free and open to the public ceremony does not require a SXSW badge to attend and is one of the most anticipated events hosted by SXSW in March. You can read more about the award and the selection process here.

Team members from Gamers Outreach will be attending next year’s event to accept this award, and to speak with the SXSW community about our quest to support hospitalized patients through digital play.

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We’re super thankful to the folks from SXSW for creating this award, and recognizing the impact being made by so many great causes, including our own! We can’t wait to advocate for the patients and families who benefit from the support of our community. We hope this brings more awareness to the importance of interactive technologies within medical environments, and ultimately generates more support for the work being done!

Looks like we’ll be seeing you in March, SXSW! Massive thanks!

Lurie Children’s Hospital Adds Four More GO Karts

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This past July, Lurie Children’s Hospital brought its grand total of GO Karts in its wing to 7 thanks to the effort of its Child Life department.

Located in the Windy City, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago (formerly Children’s Memorial Hospital) has more than 1,200 physicians on staff and has been treating kids in the midwest for 130 years. For a major hospital in the heart of the country, 7 GO Karts can do wonders for the team’s efforts when it comes to boosting the moods of patients and their families, or assisting with physical therapy if any injuries or ailments correspond to any of the tissue or function also used while gaming.

We were lucky enough to submit a robust lineup of possible gaming titles for patients to choose from as well, including Rocket League, Minecraft, Lego Marvel Super Heroes, NASCAR Heat, and the Mega Man Legacy collection. A wide breadth of titles means all the more adventures to choose from those who truly need it most, and we’re thankful to the teams and companies that brought them to life and continue to update them.

Special thank you also goes out to the entire team at Lurie Children’s Hospital for being so incredible to work with every step of the way — we hope these Karts bring your staff and their patients some more joy and laughter each and every day.

 

NETWAR Gears Up for LANFest Oct. 6-7

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Since this past spring, we’ve been extremely fortunate to have a number of individuals, organizations, and corporations contribute to our dream of delivering and maintaining GO Karts in every children’s hospital in the country (and one day, the world over). From the teams at Xbox and Bluehole Inc., to Child’s Play and the Dooley family (to name a few), more children and their families have good reason to smile and laugh a little more each day due to the kindness and generosity of the aforementioned men and women. We wouldn’t be where we are today without you, that much is clear.

Anyway, you can’t really open a blog post like that and be surprised when we tell you that at The Mark on October 6th and 7th, NETWAR — the Omaha, Nebraska chapter of the national LANFest organization — will host one of its biannual BYOC (Bring Your Own Computer) weekends with Gamers Outreach (and by extension, Children’s Hospital & Medical Center of Omaha) being the charitable focus of the proceedings. Tickets to this incredible 586 seat, 26 hour-long LAN are still available but hurry: If you planned on attending but haven’t registered yet, they’re going fast! Passes can be purchased online here. Have a specific question about anything pertaining to the event? Their info page is a good place to start.

For announcements leading up to the event or updates the weekend of, you can follow them on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.