From the lush forests of New England to the rolling plains of the heartland, The Gamers Give Back Tour continues to make its way across the nation.
The final month of summer began with a stop in Burlington, Vermont at the University of Vermont Children’s Hospital. On August 7, our very own Brandon Llinas joined forces with Erick Blandin, who is with us on many of the Gamers Give Back Tour stops, from Childs Play, and met up with Sierra Scheller, head of the Child Life team of specialists at the hospital.
Sierra showed our team around the facilities and helped put together a free forum style event where, rather than visit room-to-room, arranged it so gifts could be distributed in one location of the hospital. The patients, many of them older kids and teenagers at this particular stop, came to us where they received gifts along the lines of Monopoly board games and Skylander action figures accompanied by Hope stuffed animals and Childs Play blankets.
A couple days later on August 10th, Brandon continued on to the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital in Portland, Maine where he met with Liz Shaughnessy, her team of Child Life Specialists, and a total amount of 55 kids.
The hospital was gorgeous and serves as a wonderful example of a facility that caters to the needs of their patients. The children were appreciative of the gifts they received which included toys from Hasbro, one of our amazing donors.
The team went room-to-room handing out toys, chatting with patients and families, and were welcomed by smiling faces as they handed out GGB Tour bags filled with fun items.
Later in the month, David Arditti, one our awesome GameChanger team members, traveled to Nebraska to make a couple special stops for the tour.
After David’s visit to Children’s Hospital & Medical Center in Omaha, Rob Harding, Community Resource Specialist, sent us this heartfelt and genuine thank you letter:
“ I wanted to thank you effusively for Erick and David’s visit and for the lunch! What a tremendous gift you all provided for our patients and staff and we can’t thank you enough. I can only imagine the time, thought, energy and effort that goes into planning a visit like this – you all are a well-oiled machine. I’d also like to thank everyone for their overwhelming generosity in providing the bags of gifts for our patients, too! Wow!
Then, on August 24th, David Arditti, along with players from the Iowa Cubs, made a visit to Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines.
David sent this write-up back to GC Headquarters as a recap of his visit:
We met Lori in the lobby of Blank’s who showed us to the room and brought the gifts a little before 9. We started the day collecting gift bags for the patients and were joined by the Cubs shortly after who helped put the bags together. We all chatted with the Cubs team who were eager to help and enthusiastic about the cause. Once we were all packed we went to the rooms.
The Cubs team members and the Child life staff distributed the bags to the patients, who were all very excited to be visited by the team and their mascot. After that, the Cubs departed and we got a tour of the facility, their PICU and a couple playrooms. Then we finished the day having lunch with the Child Life staff and chatting about their tech questions.
Shelby, the team representative for the Iowa Cubs, wrote a wonderful note to us about their experience:
“We have been fortunate to visit Blank Children’s, but never before today were we able to have our hearts touched by the passion that GameChanger and Childs Play shared with our players. Yes, we have passed our baseballs to the kids and walked the halls- but never have we seen kids faces light up when they received the gift bags that we felt so honored to deliver. Whether the patient identified with our baseball uniforms, the baseballs, or CUBBIE our mascot… we definitely hit a home run for the kids at Blank Children’s.”
Our mission continues! As summer time winds down and everyone goes back to school we’re working toward connecting with more companies who share our passion to bring innovative technology to hospitals worldwide. Learn more about how you can help GameChanger Charity and follow us on Twitter!