Playing games to help children’s hospitals

Photo of anime character playing XBOX. Image Credit: Jose M Martin Jimenez, via Flickr/CC.

Playing games for good. Image Credit: Jose M Martin Jimenez, via Flickr/CC.

The Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals may soon receive a significant donation from an event coordinated by Microsoft titled Gaming for Good. The event will take place on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2011. Participants are encouraged to raise money donated from family and friends for each hour spent playing games. Gaming for Good partners include GameStop and 2K Games — who have already raised more than $70,000 (U.S.) for the Children’s Miracle Network.

The Children’s Miracle Network, since 1983, has raised more than $4B (U.S.) to help more than 170 children’s hospitals in the United States and Canada. Donations have often been raised one or two dollars at a time.

While raising money for a charity by having people pledge or fund an activity an individual plans to do is not really a new idea for fundraising, there is potential for this event to have multiple positive outcomes beyond additional funds for the charity:

  • an increase in awareness of and engagement with charitable activities by males 12-17 years of age and females 25-34 years of age — according to a 2009 Nielsen Company report, this demographic is highly engaged with Xbox 360 gaming.
  • groundswell and discussion at the family and friend-level about how charitable giving might benefit children in need — the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals have assisted children with afflictions including asthma, broken bones, birth defects, and cancer.

What impact might funds raised to assist children have? According to the National Cancer Institute, 10,700 new cases of pediatric cancer were expected to be diagnosed in children between birth and fourteen years of age in 2010. While the pediatric cancer survival rate has been raised to more than 80 percent, the experience for children and their families must be challenging.

Learn more about charities that help children

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