Gamers Give Back 2018!!

We’ve been busy at the start of the new year scheduling out the 2018 Gamers Give Back Tour!

A lot goes into the details and planning of making these special days happen. That said, we are always more than happy to work out the details and bring a day to hospitals that patients and staff alike will remember!

This month, we made our initial stops of the new year in the Sunshine State!

 

We arrived at Baptist Children’s Hospital in Miami where we were met by Lori from Child Life and… BOOM! Just as quickly as 2017 ended, our 2018 Gamers Give Back tour was back in action!

We set off on our tasks of packing the gift bags for the children. We try our best to plan out beforehand but part of the nature of going to hospitals is also being ready when a surprise comes along. It’s here, while packing up bags, where we generally assess the number of gifts needed the day of (Sometimes it can be more. Sometimes it can be less) and bag up enough gifts to go around for each and every child we meet. Along with our friends from Child’s Play Charity, we brought Skylanders, children’s books, games and more!

 

As our own David Arditti put it – the response was appreciative and humbling. Lori and her Child Life team went from room to room and messages of gratitude were relayed to us while gifts were being delivered to the kids.

 

 

After the gifts were delivered, we hosted a delicious lunch for the staff from Roasters and Toasters. The meal was much appreciated by all the nurses, doctors and Child Life team members who were able to take a break and have a yummy bite to eat.

As per usual on the Gamers Give Back tour, as the meal wrapped up we had an engaged discussion surrounding potential options for gaming and fun for the kids including possibilities with Xbox Game Passes, VR options for playing and a possible set up in the future, a bit about GameChanger Play Days, and Incorporating the exciting new  Zott TV into their hospital!

After lunch and our meeting, we got a tour of the Miami Cancer Institute attached to the Children’s Hospital. We got the chance to tour an entertainment room that was designed by a former Disney Imagineer. One amazing innovation in healthcare to note,  the hospital has a Proton Accelerator that they just call “Proton” which is able to fire a proton particle at tumors, which move at 2/3 the speed of light, without damaging the surrounding tissue. Incredible!

Next up, we visited the patients and staff a Nemours Children’s Hospital.

We arrived at the hospital where we were greeted by Jenna from the Child Life team who showed us around the facilities and led us to the Teen Room where we started bagging gifts for various age groups. Unpredictability comes with the territory at times on the GGB Tour… Nemour’s had more teenage patients than initially anticipated but we made due with the gifts we had and gift bags were compiled as necessary. The patients received their gifts as planned and we were able to create a few impromptu bags for the newly added recipients!
 
Tijuana Flats was delivered for lunch which, the staff couldn’t stop raving about.  All in all, it was a good day with good folks!

Our final stop in Florida was at the Florida Hospital for Children. We came with our “Gamer Faces” on and  had a good day with our friends Child Life partners and our new acquaintances the 501st of Star Wars renown!

The kids were ecstatic to have their gifts delivered by Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, and a squadron of Stormtroopers! The Child Life and Admin staff were a pleasure to work with and thrilled we could be there to bring some joy to the patients. During and after lunch, we discussed ways to help innovate and upgrade their current gaming capabilities so that kids could enjoy all the new wonder that video games have to offer.

 

At the end of this month (January) we’ll be in Utah and Colorado for more Gamers Give Back tour dates! Stay tuned! As always, be sure to follow us on Twitter to stay up to date on events, upcoming donation drives, and other wonderful ways to help us give to young patients who need some joy during what can usually be a tough experience for a child

 

Thanks for reading!

Meet Nathan – Our first Character Based Scholarship Recipient of 2018

On FRIDAY, JANUARY 12TH, 2018, at Platteview High School in Nebraska, Nathan Michaels received a scholarship to help him continue his education and personal goals.

A few months back, we received an email from our friends at Team Cancer America about a spirited young man who needed a bit of financial support.

Together with a few of the good people in our community, we were able to give one young man a well-deserved big surprise. Nathan Michaels received a Character Based Scholarship in front of his entire Senior Class!
Each time we select a recipient we also try to make a bit of magic happen to make the day extra special. This time around was no exception. In perfect GameChanger fashion, the scholarship was presented to Nathan by none other than YouTube Star Andrew Flair from Fishing with Flair, a rising star in the streaming world known for his skills and passion for fishing and outdoor living.
A special moment to note; Throughout his treatment, Nathans friends have shown up in force by shaving their heads to show support for the treatment he’s been going through and formed a “Band of Bald Brothers”.
When we witness this type of care and devotion to one’s friends it simply makes us proud. Way to help out in such a selfless manner for Nathan! We only wish all teens could have this type of support system who happen to be in similar situations.
“What an incredible celebration for not only Nathan but for the entire Senior Class. This class of 98 students had his back during his entire cancer journey and in his remission. Mr. Steve Joekel (Assistant Principal of Platteview High) deserves a huge thank you as well – he has been one of Nathan’s biggest advocate at the school. He did a fabulous job pulling this entire presentation together and made it a moment Nathan will NEVER forget.
Learn more about our Character Based Scholarship program by visiting our website or contacting us. Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter to stay up to date on new Character Based Scholarships, our VR camp, the Gamers Give Back Tour, and GameChanger Play Days.
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 like Nathan Michaels. To learn more about our Character-Based Scholarship program, visit this page on the GameChanger Charity website!

GameChanger Play Day at Methodist Children’s Hospital

The GameChanger crew and special guests created a day to remember for staff and patients at Methodist Children’s Hospital in San Antonio!

 

Check out this video of the event ——–>

 

We’re off to a successful start in 2018!

 

Along with Hope The Monkey Plushies and other fun toys, we brought along today’s top gaming stations that included 3 Xbox consoles and a PS4 with a VR set up. All of which we set up in an open floor area of the hospital allowing any patient or sibling who wanted to play the opportunity to do so.

Patients and their families were able to choose from a variety of games including Fusion Frenzy, Injustice, NBA Playgrounds, Star Wars Battlefront 2, Minecraft, Driveclub, and Madden 2018!

 

 

 

To say we had our choice of games is an understatement! Thanks to Xbox for donating the one-month Game Passcodes!! Thanks to their amazing donation, all patients were able to choose from hundreds of titles.

 

    

 

 

Due to the staff and patients playing it safe and taking extra precaution around the flu season, we were expecting a low turn out of children that would be able to leave their rooms. These are the standards we respect and take very seriously at GameChanger. That said, even if we are able to give one or two patients a fun experience then it’s all worth it.

 

 

Overall we had a great turnout as 15 kids came out to play games and enjoy themselves with many of them staying for the entire length of the event!

 

 

 

That’s not all! This time around we had some amazing influencers in attendance.

ParkerGames, Shubble, JeromeASF, StacyPlays, and GraffixG were all with us to spread some smiles and enjoy the afternoon with the kids!

Everyone involved was amazing and respectful of the space and the families who were in attendance.

 

A big thanks goes out to all of our special guests and the Child Life staff at Methodist Children’s Hospital. Your commitment to help out and be present makes the GameChanger Play Day events a reality and is incredibly important to us.

 

 

Play Days are celebratory days filled with gaming, tech, and special guest influencers. None of our efforts would be possible if not for the partnerships with companies like Xbox and other partners who donate gaming goods and toys for the children.

 

 

 

For more information on GameChanger Play Days and how you can help our mission, please visit our website and follow us on Twitter to stay up to date on all of our events and fun donation drives where you can donate for the chance to win amazing one of a kind prizes.