Great news, Gamers Outreach supporters! A GO Kart has been delivered to Hurley Children’s Hospital in Flint, Michigan!
Funded by the Super Smash Bros community, this GO Kart is the first we’ve delivered to the hospital, and most certainly not the last.
For those unaware, Flint has a storied history in the state of Michigan. Once a hotbed for car manufacturing, the city fell on hard economic times after General Motors closed a manufacturing plant which drove the city’s job growth, pushing the local economy into a deep depression. Just a few years ago, Flint was ranked as “one of the most dangerous cities in the US” and violent crime is still prevalent.
Currently, Flint is in the midst of a water crisis. Last September, a pediatrician within Hurley Medical Center published a study which revealed elevated levels of lead were being detected in the blood of patients. The report brought national attention to Flint’s contaminated water supply, and has spurred widespread corrective efforts to provide residents with access to safe drinking water.
As a city-funded hospital, Hurley Children’s has limited resources compared to its state counterparts, and often treats children who are victims of Flint’s economic climate. Earlier in 2015, we received an email from hospital staff seeking video game donations for patients at the hospital. Given the state of affairs in Flint, it’s often difficult for hospital staff to pull together resources that can be allocated towards providing children with recreational activities. That’s where The Big House 5 came in.
When Robin Harn reached out last Fall asking if Gamers Outreach would be willing to partner up as the official charity of The Big House 5, we knew we had to make a difference for the families in Flint. Thanks to Robin’s initiative, as well as the support of his community, we were able to deliver our first GO Kart to Hurley Children’s. This particular GO Kart will be used for a variety of purposes throughout the hospital’s pediatric ward. Appropriately, the GO Kart was delivered equipped with Smash Brothers – but we threw in an Xbox One from our inventory for good measure as well.
With this delivery, we’re now supporting 18 different children’s hospitals across the country. This is also one of the last 1.0 GO Karts we’ll be deploying as we look towards launching the new generation of carts later this year.
In a region where families are going through incredibly challenging and trying times, we hope this GO Kart will provide a needed outlet for kids to just be kids. Our deepest thanks to Robin, the Smash community, and those who contributed to the cause. It’s certainly not the last time we’ll be working to support Hurley Children’s Hospital.