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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!

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