Friday, November 06, 2015

Gaming for Charity - Extra Life's Big Day on November 7th!

Extra Life Day is tomorrow!

Last year I joined in on the gaming marathon and had a lot of fun helping raise funds for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. This year I have joined up with team Dynamic Action Squad Team to pool our funds to go to Seattle Children's Hospital.

Here's the down and low on Extra Life and why I support it.

I'm cautious with my money. Very cautious. Unfortunately there are a number of charities out there that either don't fully donate their funds to the cause they are raising money for, or not at all. And this time of year, it's very easy for people to get swept up into the season by giving to those in need. There's nothing wrong with donating money, food, clothing, etc. to those who could use it. The problem is some charities don't properly distribute the money. Susan G. Komen is a not-so wonderful example of this. While all of us "go pink" for October, you'll find that most donations sent to Komen are for operating costs (it's a pretty big business now) and breast cancer awareness programs. I think we can all agree at this point that we're all fully aware of breast cancer. How about we shift those funds to researching a cure, like your advertising promises, hm?

What inspired me to get involved with Extra Life was my brother. He joined up through his company, Trion Worlds, and really dug into the meaning behind the organization. Extra Life was created in 2008 to help a young girl with cancer. A handful of gamers were inspired by her story and determination that they wanted to donate to her family to help with the rising cost of medical bills, but didn't have the funds to do so. They created a 24-hour gaming marathon and were able to get people to donate as they play. And it grew from there! Since partnering up with Children's Miracle Network (CMN), the charity has raised over $14 million dollars.

And Extra Life does not keep a single penny of it. It all goes direct to CMN and they are one of the few groups that is transparent about their accounting books. Funding goes to support children's hospitals around the U.S. to improve equipment, research, and give a better quality of life to the patients they serve. And it's cool that you can pick your CMN hospital of choice. Last year I went with Children's Medical in Dallas, a place we've been to on several occasions for my brother, and it was some of the best care we had ever received at a hospital.

As someone who is not a child-friendly person, I find Extra Life to be one of those charities that is worthy of my time and money. I've been very fortunate to have a healthy childhood. I can't say it's worked out so well as an adult, but stuff happens. I'm grateful for my life and what I have. There are so many kids out there who are not as lucky, and spend years in hospitals for illnesses and diseases that have no cure. I wouldn't feel right not donating my time and money to them to help find cures, or at least put a smile on their face for a day with the comforts of home.

If you're looking for a charity to support this season, or have a dollar you want to donate, consider Extra Life this year.

I'll be streaming all day Saturday (hopefully lasting 24 hours, but if I need to break it up, I'll be on again on Sunday). Be sure to check me out on Twitch.

And because it falls on N7 Day, I'll be playing all things BioWare, starting the day off with Mass Effect (still debating between a speed run on ME2 or Citadel DLC on ME3) followed by Operation: Bang Dorian on Dragon Age: Inquisition. Because the only way I can get through Inquisition without pursuing Cullen is to make a male character and go after the handsome mage.

In the evening, my team and I will go into full on silly mode as we play a group game of Drawful, Fibbage, and Cards Against Humanity.

Join me on my stream to watch live. Or join our team! Invites are open to anyone interested in participating.

#ForTheKids  #N7Day

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