Meet Jack – Our Recent GameChanger Scholarship Recipient

 

The first time we met Jack, we walked into his room to find a high energy, enthusiastic young man who was making a positive difference with his support network of care providers and friends. Jack serves as a strong role model to other patients and the world around him.

One of the real highlights of working at GameChanger Charity is having the opportunity to meet some truly gifted young people. Unfortunately, we cross their paths when they and their families have been affected by a life-threatening illness that has caused virtually everything about their lives to change.

Often, those dramatic changes come right in the midst of critical times in their education process. In many circumstances, these young people and their families can no longer either pursue or continue their goal of securing a college education. It’s during these difficult times that the true character and resiliency of these patients and their families reveals itself.

That was the case of one of our recent scholarship winners, Jack Harrhy. Jack had been working hard since the age of 16 at part-time and sometimes full-time jobs whilst attending school and maintaining high grades. He had every intention of attending and graduating college so he could get a degree in Computer Sciences and to make a difference in the world.

Jack used his savings to pay for equipment he needed for school such as his laptop, etc. He also used it towards his tuition, and towards his successful filming/photography business for which he has bought all his own equipment. He has even turned a profit by supplying his services to others.

Jack told us he and his friends were making a documentary about his battle with cancer and they were actually filming and writing about the entire experience. His goal was to be able to share his experience and ultimate victory over cancer with others who might find themselves in a similar situation.

Due to his diagnosis and long treatment process, Jack was forced to step away from his pursuit of his college education in order to deal with this life challenge! It’s situations such as this when we have the chance to step in and “fill the gap” with a scholarship so Jack can get back to his education and the things he loves. When we describe these awards as “Character-Based Scholarships”, Jack serves as the perfect example!!

Thanks to the worldwide gaming community, we were able to make this gift possible.

A nice little note to end on, Jack is an avid gamer who freely admits to spending way to much money on Humble Bundles!!

Our missions thrive when the tech and gaming communities pitch in! The Character-Based Scholarship Program would not be possible if not for the support of partners like Twitch Prime community who generously donated the funds that we give out to scholarship recipients such as Jack Harrhy and the other amazing patients we come across. To learn more about our Character-Based Scholarship program, visit this page on the GameChanger Charity website.

The ThanX-Giveaway Contest!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

 

Never mind Black Friday and Cyber Monday. We’re saying THANKS to all of you who have been supporting us with this awesome Xbox Themed Giveaway!

For this particular giveaway, you have many chances, many of them being free, to win one of two Xboxes and a cornucopia of games!! Click the picture below to enter!

 

 

 

You have the chance to win one of the two following prize packages! Click here to enter!

 

1st Place

Xbox One Elite

Xbox One Controller

Thrustmaster Steering Wheel/Pedal

Thrustmaster Doom Headset

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare: Atlas Pro Edition

Call of Duty: Ghosts: Hardened Edition

Borderlands: Handsome Jack Edition

Halo 5

Evolve

Horizon 2

Dark Souls III

Might Number 9

Rabbids Invasion

RYSE

Killer Instinct

Zoo Tycoon

Angry Birds

Forza

Xbox Tee Shirt

 

2nd Place

Xbox One

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare: Atlas Limited Edition

Halo 5

Evolve

Rabbids Invasion

Killer Instinct

Zoo Tycoon

Angry Birds

Xbox Tee Shirt

 

The giveaway runs from 11/21 – 12/04. If you make a donation, please supply us with your email for proof of purchase. All proof of purchase emails can be sent to Info@gamechangercharity.org.

Please be aware that while many of these games are all ages some of these games are intended for mature audiences.

Enter today to win! And as always, your contribution goes towards bringing joy to kids in hospitals through therapeutic gaming, VR, and helping to make dreams a reality through out scholarship program.

Click here to enter!  

 

MineCon Earth 2017 IfOnly Experience

This one of a kind IfOnly campaign benefitted GameChanger Charity. The winner received two tickets to invite-only MINECON Earth in Atlanta, GA.

Meet Ryan and Reece. This lucky father and son scored premier access to the live show and met famous Minecraft developers!

 

 

 

This was a dream experience for any Minecraft fan!

 

 

Over a mid-November weekend, an event took place that will be one for the books. We were proud to partner with IfOnly, Minecraft and Mojang to create a thrilling prize package where donors would have the opportunity to win tickets to MINECON Earth!

 

 

The experience started with dinner at the Seafood Room in Atlanta with Katie and Nicolette, two of the amazing team members who make the Minecraft experience what it is today. Ryan and Reece were able to get an inside scoop on what it would be like to work at the company and seemed very enthusiastic about  a possible future there for Reece.

 

 

The following day was the big event! MineCon Earth did not disappoint. The winners entered the set and got to view the live stream of MINECON Earth in person with its cast, including Lydia Winters, Will Arnett (voice of Lego Batman!!), and Jeb of Minecraft fame.

 

 

The winners even got to meet Jeb, the lead creative designer for Minecraft, behind the scenes!

 

Through and through, this was a wonderful experience and, for us at GameChanger Charity, an incredible event that we were honored to be involved with.  Thanks so much to Minecraft, Mojang and Microsoft members!

 

A special shout out also goes to our influencer friends who were involved in the show; OMGChad, Aureylian, StacyPlays, and AntVenom

 

 

Thanks so much to the Minecraft, Mojang and Microsoft members who were all involved in donating this unique experience for our winners!

MIGHT WE MENTION – Minecraft donated some wonderful lego toys and other fun items that related to Minecraft and Minecon Earth to Denver Children’s Hospital and CS Mott in Ann Arbor, Michigan!

 

And of course, Hope was in attendance as well 🙂

Play Day at UCSF Benioff

On November 7th 2017 GameChanger hosted a Play Day at UCSF Benioff in San Francisco. Along with our team, volunteers from EA and Twitch were in attendance to play games with the kids and hand out fun gifts to hospital patients and their siblings.

When bringing therapeutic gaming and VR to children in hospitals, there’s always a source of inspiration to behold. It comes from witnessing the resilience of children patients who have a sense of wonder that only a young person can have and from the caring Child Life staff we meet.

In a similar way, inspiration fills the room when you experience volunteers coming to one of our Play Days. Generally speaking, these are people who like to take a moment out of their busy schedules to bring a bit of cheer to children staying in hospitals.

 

Volunteering was a core element of our recent GameChanger Play Day.

 

GameChanger Charity was thrilled to be invited to EA’s 11th Annual Nonprofit showcase. Located at EA’s headquarters in Redwood City, California, the day featured various charities that expressed interest in working with volunteers from the EA team.

The offer we established for employees was to join us for a Play Day at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital where they would spend time playing games with children staying at the hospital in order to bring a bit of fun to their day.

The more we talked with folks at EA the more we could see that the people who came by to discuss GameChanger’s mission were enthusiastic about putting energy toward a cause.

 

Fast-forward a couple weeks later to UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in San Francisco. Not only did we have four amazing team members from EA join us, we also had a crew from Twitch Charity in attendance along with talented music streamer Tammy Byerly.

 

We had two rooms available for use. One of them, a digital AV lab that UCSF Benioff created to be used exclusively by their patients, featured a green screen along with just about any resource one would need to create a TV show and let their imagination run wild.

We set up 2 VR devices. One, an HTC Vive, which had various games like Fruit Ninjas and Tilt Brush. The other, a PSVR with VR Worlds that featured a virtual luge game. David Arditti and Nate Aschenbach, our resident VR Specialists and all-around good guys, managed the gaming and helped guide the kids through new experiences in the virtual reality space.

 

The next room over was a teen lounge where multiple consoles were set-up with a variety of games including Guitar Hero, Star Wars Battlefront, FIFA 2018, Super Smash Bros on Wii-U, and an Oculus VR headset featuring Medium, an art game where you draw in a 3D space!

We also had games spilling out into the hallways including Marvel’s Lego Avengers and Angry Birds Star Wars, which is also where our table of gifts was located where patients, brothers and sisters were able to choose from an assortment of fun gifts.

Toys we brought along were supplied by our awesome partners at Hasbro and included Mr. Potato Head, Nerf Basketball sets, Upwords Board Games, Baby Alive dolls and Marvel Iron Man Action Figures. SkyLanders were available as well, which Activision has so graciously donated.

 

It seemed that as soon as we set up a group of kids came to play! With excited smiles, the patients and siblings adventured through VR landscapes and enjoyed playing the various games with our volunteers.

A highlight to note, Tammy Byerly played her guitar for one of the patients who was delighted to experience such a unique talent singing right in front of them. As a special bonus, EA donated some of their top new games to the hospital so patients could have access to some of the newest and best video games out today.

A big thanks goes to the volunteers from EA and Twitch that joined us for GameChanger Play Day! Of course, we can’t thank UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital enough for having us. Stay tuned for more from GameChanger Charity and our partnerships with awesome companies like these by following us on our Twitter!