Child’s Play Up for 2009

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.

9 Comments on “Child’s Play Up for 2009”

  1. It really is staggering how successful this charity, that almost seemed to be started on a whim, has become. They’re already at a quarter of a million dollars, and that was before they launched the page for this year.

  2. My favorite CP-related event for the last couple of years (and where I do most of my giving each year) is Desert Bus for Hope where the comedy group LoadReadyRun stages a marathon play session of the infamous “Desert Bus” game from Penn & Teller’s Smoke and Mirror game.

    For those unaware, here is the basics of the game: You’re a bus driver. You have to drive a bus from Tucson, Arizona to Las Vegas, Nevada at 45 mph. In REAL TIME. No pausing, no scenery, just endless desert. To make things even more sadistic, you can’t just tape the accelerator button and leave, because it veers to the right slightly, and if you wreck, you have to get towed back to Tuscon – again, in real time. If you make the 8-hr drive to Las Vegas, you get 1 point. You can then drive back to Tucson again – for another point.

    During the LRR marathons, the more you donate, the longer they have to drive. They livestream the entire thing and even have occasional guest celebrities call in.

  3. I’m with Ben. Like so many things “Gabe” and “Tycho” touch, Child’s Play has taken on a life of its own. In this case, it’s a worthy cause, too. I look forward every year to my own little “shopping trip” to Amazon.

  4. This is my one regular charity. (I have others throughout the year, but this is always my Xmas one.) And I love that they expanded the number of hospitals you can donate to, so you can make it local and personal.

  5. I love this one. It is the only charity I know of where you can be sure that 100% of the dollars you spend make it to the people you want to help.

  6. apparently i am the first person this year to donate $13.37 this year to desert bus for hope. i really hope that they get $10,000 before the end of the first shift, so that operation kill james happens this year.

  7. Thank you for this! Connecticut Children’s Hospital is getting several videos out of me for Christmas!

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