One of my favorite charities is back once again: Child’s Play, which helps distribute toys and video games to children’s hospitals all over the US and the world, is now open to receive your charitable donations. Go to the site, click on the map for a children’s hospital near you, and you’ll be taken to an Amazon wish list for that particular hospital, where you can buy toys and games that the hospital has chosen (For example, here’s the Amazon Wish List for the Children’s Medical Center in Dayton, which is the one I donated to). You can also or alternately donate cash to Child’s Play directly, via PayPal or through the mail.
Child’s Play is run by the folks at Penny Arcade, who originally did it to make the point that video gamers aren’t disengaged shut-ins zapping things on phosphor screens, and to point out that video games themselves could make a difficult situation — being a kid in a hospital — slightly more bearable. In both cases the charity has overachieved, with Child’s Play bringing in literally millions in contributions since it began a few years ago. And they’ve made it amazingly easy to be involved. It’s a model of how charitable giving can and should work online. Check it out and if you are of a mind to, give.