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Children’s Charity Gets Boost from Online Community

Children’s Charity Gets Boost from Online Community

What if you had the chance to make the hospital experience of a child just a little more comfortable?

Children in hospital still want to be able to do all the things that other children do. Unfortunately, hospital budgets don’t cover entertainment for these kids, and they have to rely on donations.

This is where Get-Well Gamers comes in. They provide hospitals with consoles and games so that the kids have a way to wile away the time between visits. And besides, did you know that playing computer games has also proven to help manage pain in some patients?

Founded in the US in 2001, Get-Well Gamers has gone on to help out hundreds of hospitals around the world, all year round. Everything is donated, so the hospitals don’t have to pay anything, and the children can enjoy anything from a classic games system to the very latest next-gen console.

The charity is able to do this through the generosity of people giving away their old games and electronic toys, as well as money, which goes towards shipping.

UK Reddit user James Stewart came across a post about the Get-Well Gamers Foundation and thought it such an amazing idea that he contacted them to see if they had a chapter in the UK. It turned out they didn’t, and so Get-Well Gamers UK was born.

“Hospitals can be tough, even when you’re old enough to know exactly what’s going on,” James said on the charity’s website. “When you’re a child, it’s scary and confusing.”

James, who goes by the Reddit username ShetlandJames, launched the UK faction last year, but despite Reddit posts to raise awareness for it, Get-Well Gamers UK hadn’t received much publicity. It received a couple of donations here and there, but nothing major.

But last week, another Reddit user, Downvotes4Samson, posted about a little girl they knew who had to spend some time in hospital. In the playroom was an Xbox 360 for the children to play on.

The user thought it was a brilliant idea, and after a little research found the games console had been given to the hospital by Get-Well Gamers UK. Reading more about the charity, the user posted to Reddit to encourage everyone to make a contribution.

Within an hour of the post, James received an email from PayPal informing him that someone had donated £100. Half an hour later, another donation was made, then another, and another.

The Get-Well Gamers UK website was also getting hundreds of hit, which was unheard of before Downvotes4Samson’s initial post. And not only was the site overrun with people donating their gaming stuff, they were also offering their free time.

Less than five hours after that initial Reddit post was made, James received another alert from Paypal: someone had donated a whopping £900 – more than all of the other donations put together!

At the moment, Get-Well Gamers UK helps just over 40 hospitals, but thanks to all of the latest donations (totalling more than £1,600), that could extend to more than 300 hospitals across the UK!

If you would like to help sick children in hospital feel even just a little bit better, check out Get-Well Gamers UK’s About and Donation pages, and follow the instructions there. You can also visit the US site here.

And, finally, a huge “WELL DONE” to everyone who has already donated!

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