Annual Tournament Supports Hospitalized Kids
Merit Network is pleased once again to have provided reliable, high-speed internet to the Gamers Outreach 2019 Gamers for Giving program that was hosted on March 23rd and 24th at the main arena of the Eastern Michigan University Convocation Center.
Gamers Outreach Foundation, headquartered in Saline, MI is a nonprofit organization that provides video game equipment, technology and software to help kids cope during hospital stays.
The annual “Gamers for Giving” event was founded in 2008 as a competitive gaming tournament, streaming marathon, and Local Area Network (LAN) party that helps generate resources for the initiatives of Gamers Outreach.
“Gamers for Giving is a LAN party that brings video game enthusiasts together in support of providing entertainment to hospitalized children and families,” Gamers Outreach Founder Zach Wigal said. “I like to think of our event is like a modern-day Jerry Lewis Telethon, but for gamers. Sponsors help cover the overhead costs to produce the event while attendee entry fees, online donations, and our content creators also help raise funds to support the program during the big weekend.”
Gamers Outreach hoped to raise $500,000 this time out, up from their $350,000 goal in 2018, as service needs have quadrupled since last year. The foundation continues to witness the variety of ways video games are being utilized in hospitals to provide relief, whether for distraction, socialization, or even education.
“You will never know how much these games truly mean to the kids and families stuck in
their rooms for weeks, months, and years, this is a true blessing,” Mike Chaves, an avid gamer and strong supporter of Gamers Outreach said. “The smiles and joy that they bring cannot be put into words.”
Funds raised during this year’s event will help Gamers Outreach purchase GO Karts for children’s hospitals around the country. GO Karts are portable video game kiosks built specifically for the hospital environment with each unit equipped with a video game console, monitor, controllers and an assortment of games. These units help hospital staff members easily provide bedside recreation to kids who are unable to leave their rooms inside hospitals.
“[GO Karts] help take a patient’s mind off of being in the hospital. When their friends are around, they’re not talking about why they’re in the hospital – they’re just talking about
the game they’re involved with. The game becomes the center of attention and not the child’s illness,” said J.J. Bouchard, Child Life Specialist, C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.
Organizers will also use this year’s proceeds to service existing hospitals, expand to new facilities, and grow a stronger footprint in more medical institutions across the nation.
“Gamers for Giving” has become one of the largest independent LAN parties in the United States. Gamers Outreach Foundation currently supports 16 children’s hospitals nationwide and to date they have serviced over 450,000 children during hospital stays.
To donate, or for more information about upcoming events, please visit gamersforgiving.org.
This year, we’ve partnered with Tiltify.com, a fundraising platform which allows gamers to stream in support of Gamers Outreach programs. You can launch a fundraising campaign here, or make a direct contribution on our Tiltify portal here!