I have shown you in all things that by working hard in this way, you must assist those who are weak and must keep in mind the words of the Lord Jesus, when he himself said: ‘There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving.’” – Acts 20:35
Yes, I know, this is the second time I have quoted from the bible but I was brought up reading the bible, and some sayings just stay with you. This saying is one of them. I have always put others before myself, whether its from donating, or working with non profit groups, or even charities and fundraisers. I’ve volunteered at animal shelters and hospitals, worked with children with special needs, and since I was small, every fundraiser introduced to me. It makes me feel better. I will do for others, care for others well being, even in the midst of my worst depression episodes. I’m driven by this need to do for others, despite the neglect I have for myself.
Currently I’m involved with Extra-Life as Team Captain for Steel City Kombat. Firstly, SCK is a gaming community here in Pittsburgh that plays fighting games. They mainly focus on Mortal Kombat (what gave that away?), but also play Street Fighter, Killer Instinct, and anything else really. Now that you know it’s a gaming community, I can tell you about Extra-Life for those that have not heard about it.
Extra-Life started with a little girl in Texas battling against Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. She started this battle at the age of 11, and was in and out of her Local Children’s Hospital. Ever heard of Sarcastic Gamer? At the same time she was in her battle, they were holding a radio-thons during one of these stays. Her personality stood out to Doc, the founder. Later when he found out she was in for her third stay and it will be prolonged and that she loved video games, he reached out to Sarcastic Gamer community. He asked for donations of video games to help keep her entertained during this stay. He stated that games came flooding in from all over the world. Sadly not much longer after that, she lost her battle. In honor of her, Doc started Extra-Life, a 24 hour gaming marathon to raise money for the hospital that treated Victoria. After 2 years, he realized that other gamers wanted to help support their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, and it grew into the fundraiser that it is now.
Don’t just take myself telling this story though as I just summarized. Watch this video and then come right back. I’d recommend having a tissue with you.
This year, my team and I are support Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh part of UPMC. The money raised by us and the other local teams, will go to help local children that are going through issues similar to Victoria, and other ones as well. This hospital has done wonders. They are ranked #10 Nationally in Pediatric Hospitals. Want to know more, well just check them out here or here to find out more (as well as any internet search).
There are 2 parts to the fundraiser. The first is FUNDRAISING. It goes on until the end of the year. When you sign up, you get your own handy dandy fundraising page. This is mine. See, simple and easy. Photo if you want, who this is for, why you’re doing, a little story. There is a generic on set up, which is what I used, and updated it a little. On the side of the page is a goal and how you have raised so far. I set mine low to start, but have almost made it. If I do meet my goal, I won’t stop there, but will raise it and keep going. (HINT)
The second part is what Extra-Life is known for. The 24 hour gaming marathon. You can play any type of game. Video, board, pen and paper, cell phone games. ANYTHING. You can do it from home alone or with friends. I’ve been fortunate enough to have a local arcade here sponsor us. Victory Pointe is a new arcade that has every console but Atari, a huge gaming library, classic arcade machines, and an incredible board and table top game library. They are letting us hold tournaments throughout the day, whether it’s Dance Dance Revolution, Magic the Gathering, or Fighting Games. Who wouldn’t want to party there all day?
Doing this, giving kids their chance for a One-Up, or an Extra Life is amazing. Kids are our future and what better feeling than trying to help them have a great future without medical issues.
Join me, share my page, share this story, donate, just please, don’t just sit there. Make yourself feel better by helping others. Find a charity, get involved if this is not the one for you.