Hiya from Sarah, better known as "Gryph" online. On November 3, 2018 I'll be playing games and streaming for 24 hours straight in support of Children's Miracle Network hospitals through Extra Life!
Extra Life is a yearly gaming charity started in 2008 to honor a young girl’s fight with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The charity has continued, growing in both participants and donations ever since. Each year thousands of gamers all over the world collect donations (all of which go directly to local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals) and then participate in a 24 hour gaming marathon. Think of it like pledging for any other charity marathon – only we’re marathoning with games. Participants play anything from board games to card games to video games; the total amount raised last year was the most yet, at over $10.6 million.
My donations this year will be going to Gillette Children's in Minnesota. I spent a lot of time thinking before I made that decision, seeing as I've moved to South Carolina now. Every CMN hospital is amazing, and deserves support, to be clear! There's a part of me that wants to help support the one nearest my physical location. But, it's the one back in Minnesota that's touched me personally by helping my nephew and the children of close friends of mine. I'd also like to do something this year to make up for the way some life stuff and health stuff got in the way of my fundraising goals last year.
This will be my sixth year participating in Extra Life. I am so blown away by the help we've been able to give kids and their families, and watching this event get bigger every year. I also love how it brings the gaming community together over a common, positive purpose.
But why do *I* play for Extra Life? There’s the obvious and biggest reason – helping hospitals treat sick kids. CMN hospitals help children and families even when the families can’t afford the care they need; they are literal lifesavers in so many cases. It’s a kind and noble purpose; I can’t say enough good things about them. What you may not know is that the CMN hospital nearest me has treated my nephew and the children of friends of mine, so I have some personal reasons for wanting to see them continue their mission.
Many charity groups exist for CMN donations, so why is it this one that I choose every year? I value being able to do something truly good with my hobby, and the chance to come together with thousands like me with a passion for both gaming and doing something great, something larger than any one of us can do on our own.