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Blog: Program News


Dr. DisRespect & Family Visit Rady Children’s

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It’s not every day you have the chance to meet a six-foot-eight international gaming superstar (and two-time Blockbuster champion) with a 37 inch vertical leap. But then again, there’s only one individual in the Twitch universe who carries such esteemed credentials – and it’s none other than Dr. DisRespect.

Last summer, broadcasters from across the gaming community took part in a charity invitational hosted by the developers behind PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG). The event, which brought together 128 Twitch streamers from Europe and North America, was a celebration of PUBG’s incredible success and the gamers who’ve supported its development.

One of those streamers was Dr. DisRespect, (Guy Beahm) whose community of viewers helped construct two GO Karts for Rady Children’s Hospital of San Diego.

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GO Karts (Gamers Outreach Karts) are portable video game kiosks built specifically for medical environments. Healthcare professionals are able to use GO Karts as a way to 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 treatment.

We estimate an average of 8 patients benefit from a single GO Kart per day. Collectively, the two units donated by Guy and his viewers could support as many as 5,840 children annually.

As fans ourselves, it was wonderful to welcome Guy and his family into the hospital environment. During our visit, we had the chance to share how these units will make a difference for patients, and hear from staff on how gaming plays a role in healthcare.

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We’d like to express our immense gratitude to the #ChampionsClub, who made the delivery of these units possible through contributions during last year’s invitational. And of course, it’s hard to find words that do justice to the the generosity of PUBG Corp, who have continued to be incredible advocates for our programs and children facing hospitalization.

Firm handshakes, everyone.

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Summit1g Delivers to Children’s Colorado

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During last year’s Gamers for Giving, Twitch streamer summit1g helped raise more than $50,000 in support of providing entertainment to hospitalized children. To date, it’s the most a single broadcaster has generated for our cause, and even more astonishing to know it was all accomplished in a single day of streaming!

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As many of our readers are aware, our preference is to give donors the opportunity to support hospitals in their own backyard. Coincidentally, it just so happens Children’s Hospital Colorado (local to summit1g) oversees one of the largest networks of pediatric facilities in the nation. A serendipitous match for a fleet of GO Karts.

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Our team was thrilled to exercise the resources generated by summit1g and his viewers. Thanks to the contributions from his community, we were able to construct 15 GO Karts for patients at Children’s Hospital Colorado. We estimate ~8 kids per day benefit from a single GO Kart. It’s possible this donation could impact as many as 44,000 patients annually!

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It was our honor to have summit1g join us for a special dedication at the hospital, where we had the chance to learn how video games make a difference in the lives of patients. The hospital was thrilled to accept this contribution, and intends to spread these GO Karts across multiple facilities where they’ll be of use to patients for years to come.

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The deployment of these units marks a new record for “most GO Karts delivered” at a single time, and given the size of Children’s Hospital Colorado – they have use for every one.

Our deepest thanks go out to summit1g and his community of viewers. His involvement with our cause has inspired our team. We’re so grateful to him and his supporters for making a positive impact in the lives of children facing hospitalization. These GO Karts will be of tremendous benefit to kids receiving treatment. We’re proud knowing the gaming community is capable of rallying together in such a powerful way. Thank you to everyone who donated or helped spread the word. GG WP!

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Founder of Charity-Gaming Talks Benefits of Video Games in Hospital

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Jim Weller (second from the right) is the Assistant Director of Patient Experience at Staten Island University Hospital (SIUH), and we recently had the chance to sit down and discuss the benefits of video games for children in hospitals.

Jim has worked in hospitals his entire life, and is the founder of Charity-Gaming – a nonprofit organization that help kids stricken with illness feel like normal kids by providing an escape through video games. Charity-Gaming provides handheld gaming systems to patients to make their hospital stay more comfortable. Bonus feature: the patients actually keep the systems!

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Our partnership started when Jim was looking for a video game cart to purchase for SIUH. His research led him to Gamers Outreach – and after a bit of fundraising, Jim managed to construct two GO Karts for patients at the hospital! Most recently, Jim’s organization placed three more GO Karts within nearby facilities in New York, bringing his total number of GO Karts constructed to 5 units.

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Another strong motivator for Jim was his own experience seeing his father treated at the hospital. Jim’s goal is to ensure every patient at every hospital has access to video games. There are many benefits to having video games accessible at the bedside, including building math skills and inspiring creativity with games like Minecraft. Video games are powerful developmental tools for kids to build critical thinking and, we believe as does Jim, that the full potential of this has not been tapped. With the help of video games, Jim notes an upswing in not only patient happiness, but hospital staff happiness as well as the parents of the patients.

We look forward to working together with Jim on our combined quest to provide access to video games to every child being treated at a hospital.

Four Ways To Build Your Own GO Kart

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With the new production process complete, it’s now cheaper and more accessible than ever to build a Gamers Outreach Kart (GO Kart)!

Not familiar? GO Karts are portable video game kiosks built specifically for the medical environment. Each unit is equipped with a gaming console, monitor, and assortment of games. GO Karts enable nurses to easily provide bedside activities to children in hospitals who are unable to leave their rooms for extended periods of time. Each kart offers a safe and efficient way to ensure kids have access to entertainment.

Once constructed, GO Karts make an impact that lasts for many years. Our first GO Kart was built in 2009 and still exists in C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital! We estimate a GO Kart is used (on average) by ~8 children per day, which means a single unit could benefit nearly 3,000 patients per year!

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The donor commitment for each GO Kart is $3,500 – which covers everything – the kart itself, gaming console, games, monitor, controllers, freight shipping (to any hospital in the mainland U.S.) setup, and a 2 year warranty!

Interested in building a GO Kart for your local hospital? Here are four ways you can get started:

Fundraising Platform
Looking for a way to collect donations from friends, coworkers, or fans on social media? Make use of the of the Gamers Outreach Fundraising platform! Each fundraising page can be uniquely tailored to your story. Customize your page by inserting your own fundraising video or stream (or use the default we provide). You can also add a description to your page, sharing why this cause is important to you, and asking friends for support. The goal for a GO Kart is set at $3,500, but you can also edit this amount to a custom goal (perhaps if you’d like to build multiple karts, or just generally fundraise). If you’re interested in building a GO Kart and raising funds on an on-going basis, our fundraising platform is the most streamlined way to get the job done! Once you’ve completed your GO Kart campaign, you’ll receive a congratulatory email, and one of our team members will get in touch to start the conversation about your new GO Kart donation!

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Organize a Community Event
Start your own gaming event, go door to door, throw a charity soccer tournament at school, the possibilities are endless! The old school methods are tried and true. You can’t go wrong putting in some good ol’ fashioned elbow grease, and the more accessible you make your event, the easier it will be to start the groundswell of support. Sporting tournaments are a great idea – especially if you’re in middle school or high school and have access to plenty of people and simple marketing. Pick the most popular sport at your school and downsize the roster requirement to allow more teams to participate. If you want to have a football tournament, make it a 5v5 flag football tournament; if you want to have a soccer or basketball tournament, make it 3v3; or any other sport! Or maybe your school has a gaming club (if not, you should be the one to get it started!) that would have interest in helping to organize a fundraiser. The big takeaway here is this: activities help bring people together and can be a great way to raise money. You just have to pick one and get started! Contact some local businesses for sponsorship and ask for gift cards or prizes for the winners. To reduce your stress as the tournament organizer, be sure to have people enter by donating on the Gamers Outreach Fundraising platform. You won’t have to worry about collecting money, and your supporters will be able to receive individual tax receipts!

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Summon Your Fellow Gamers
Through the power of streaming sites, like Twitch, you can broadcast your fundraiser to the masses! Hop on the sticks (or mouse and keyboard), and start streaming your favorite game in support of the cause. Take this to the next level by organizing a streaming marathon with your friends. We’ve had marathons last up to a full week, featuring multiple streamers in shifts, but you can play for as long or short as you’d like. Similar to organizing a community event, you can reach out to companies for donations so that your stream will be packed with giveaways and other fun activities for the viewers. Don’t forget to drop that link to your fundraising page in your panels and blast it out all over social media!

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Direct Contribution
Perhaps you’re in a position to directly contribute $3,500. Sponsoring a GO Kart build or purchasing a unit for a hospital is fairly straightforward. Simply email us at contact@gamersoutreach.org letting us know you’d like to acquire a unit. We can provide you with an invoice, or you can make a straight donation on our website. Just be sure to drop us an email so we can know where you’d like your GO Kart sent! We’ll follow up with all the usual questions, and even help organize a visit with the hospital if it’s of interest! We recognize all our donors atop each GO Kart – so sponsoring a unit could be a great charity project for your workplace!

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Got another idea for how to build GO Karts? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook! Thinking about getting started yourself? In the words of a famous sports company – JUST DO IT! But most importantly, GL HF. We can’t wait to see what you’ll accomplish for kiddos in hospitals!

Patrick Peterson Dedicates GO Karts to Phoenix Children’s

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Known for his lock-down defensive style on the football field, Patrick Peterson is one of the NFL’s elite cornerbacks and a captain of the Arizona Cardinals.

But this week, he was working a different type of coverage.

Twenty minutes from the Arizona Cardinal’s home field, University of Phoenix Stadium, Patrick Peterson arrived at Phoenix Children’s Hospital last Monday with an assortment of holiday gifts for the kids. Among toys, dolls, and other presents, Patrick dedicated three GO Karts that will serve hospital patients for years to come.

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Our Founder, Zach Wigal, was present to personally dedicate the carts along with Patrick and the Patrick Peterson Foundation For Success. The addition of these new GO Karts emphasizes the clear wants and needs of the children receiving care from the hospital. Entertainment is an important component of improving the quality of life of patients, easing the recovery process. With Patrick’s kind donation, the total number of carts at Phoenix Children’s is up to seven, and smiles will be spreading faster than ever amongst the kiddos.

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We’d like to extend a massive “Thank You!” to P2 and his team for making this donation happen and personally delivering the GO Karts. The entire Gamers Outreach organization looks forward to a lasting relationship filled with more smiles and entertainment!

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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!

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.

GO Karts Revving Up This October

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In late July, we dropped one of the biggest announcements in the history of Gamers Outreach. In case you missed it: we’re partnering with an organization called Child’s Play to construct GO Karts for more than 120 healthcare facilities across the U.S. and Canada!

With support from Child’s Play, we’ve also been able to upgrade our manufacturing process. Fellow build-geeks will be excited to hear we’ve updated our tooling from vacuum forming to injection molding. Injection mold tools allow for higher quality finishes on plastic materials, and reduce costs associated with building large numbers of GO Karts.

One of the tools used to construct the base of a GO Kart!

One of the tools used to construct the base of a GO Kart!

To that end, we’re pleased to share we’ve nearly finished the upgraded tools, and as mentioned in the Child’s Play announcement, are currently on track to roll out the latest batch of GO Karts this coming October!

In addition to the GO Karts built on behalf of Child’s Play, we’ll also be deploying units funded by donors / streaming efforts in the last year – including karts supported by events such as Gamers for Giving and the PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS fundraiser! Collectively, more than 200 GO Karts are being constructed for hospitalized children!

This is a massive quantity of units, representing more than twice as many GO Karts as we’ve ever constructed to date! Our current expectation is to fulfill deliveries throughout the months of October 2017 – February 2018.

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Interested in getting involved? We’re looking for volunteers across the U.S. and Canada to help equip GO Karts with gaming peripherals once they arrive to hospitals! Volunteer applications can be submitted here. Once we start scheduling deliveries, we’ll reach out if a unit is expected to be deployed in your area!

As always, we’re incredibly grateful to the gaming community for supporting this work in pediatric hospitals. The need for activities and recreation in these environments is massive, and we’re proud to play a role in bringing joy and relief to hospitalized kiddos across the land.