I don’t remember exactly when or where I first learned about Extra Life. Since I am a rabid follower of video game news, it was probably when one of the websites I follow announced that they had a team and that they’d be participating in a gaming marathon to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network hospitals. I remember thinking, “Ooooh, that sounds cool!” I checked to see if there were any groups in my state participating, but couldn’t find anything. Since all of my experiences with fundraising for charity always involved groups of people organizing together and doing things, I didn’t think I could actually participate alone. (I was totally wrong about that, of course.)
So how does Extra Life work? Basically, on one day every year, gamers across the country play games for 24 hours to raise money for their chosen CMN hospital. The rules are very flexible, though. It doesn’t HAVE to be the designated day if that day doesn’t work for you. And you don’t have to play 24 straight hours (although a lot of people do). You can play board games, video games, outdoor games, whatever. You’re encouraged to stream your gaming and post on social networks to raise money and you’re absolutely encouraged to HAVE FUN.
I participated in Extra Life for the first time in 2014. I joined a team organized by the board game store I frequent, The Armchair Adventurer. (If you’re into board games and live on Oahu, this is THE PLACE.) I spent part of my time playing games at home on my computer and consoles and then spent several hours at the store, playing board games with other gamers. Naturally, I dragged my husband along. (That guy really does support me in EVERYTHING I do. I’m so lucky.) We had so much fun and I raised $405.00. I couldn’t wait to do it again.
So naturally, I signed up as soon as I could for 2015. I even got a special gift for signing up early: a Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals wrist band. I increased my individual goal to $500. I joined the same team, but never actually made it to the store that night. Again, I had a BLAST! This time around, I streamed my gaming on Twitch and even played games with one of my viewers. I beat my goal and raised $610.00 plus a monthly recurring donation of $10/month. That’s how I scored the silver medal – raising more than $500.
I love playing the hero in video games and Extra Life lets me be a hero in real life, too. It doesn’t get any better than that. Did I sign up for 2016? ABSOLUTELY! Game Day is November 5, 2016, but raising money to help sick and injured kids is something we can do 365 days a year. If you don’t already participate, I HIGHLY recommend it. DO IT.
If you want to donate, you can click here for my donation page. (I also have a link embedded on my Twitch channel page.)
For the Kids!