Last week, myself and many others made the trip to SickKids Hospital in Toronto for the annual Extra Life Kick-Off party. It served as an opportunity for existing guild members to reconnect and for newcomers to learn how to get involved. Most importantly, it was an opportunity for all of us to reflect on why our fundraising efforts are so important.
Extra Life is a grassroots movement where gamers raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network of Hospitals. Participants are free to support any of the 170 hospitals in the network. I play in support of SickKids Hospital in my community.
That support goes to kids like Colm, who spent 9 out of 12 months in 2019 at SickKids. An avid gamer himself, he thank the hospital for the amazing care he receives from the doctors and nurses. One moment in his speech that really moved me was a story he told about wanting to see the stars. He wasn’t able to go outside, but the staff was able to get a starry sky projected on the ceiling for him.
The support also goes towards advancements in patient care. Dr. Peter Laussen gave us an insightful presentation on the advent of artificial intelligence in day-to-day patient care. Through our efforts, we improve their ability to provide the right care for every patient.
We’re also helping to build the new SickKids Hospital. They broke ground on construction towards the end of last year and we each got a vial of dirt from the site to commemorate the event. Once the new facility is complete, it will further improve pediatric care in our community thanks to having more room and the right infrastructure for current and future technology.
Our gaming community can do incredible things when we work together. Last year, Extra Life helped to raise $345,000 for SickKids. Since the program began, we’ve raised over $2 million for our local hospital. Overall, Extra Life has helped to raise over $50 million for the Children’s Miracle Network of Hospitals across North America. I’m proud to support the cause through my donations and fundraising efforts. Though I just dipped my toe in the world of volunteering as a member of the Extra Life Toronto Guild last year, I’m aiming to make more time to support the team in raising awareness and generating donations in our community.
There are a number of ways you can make a difference. Just spreading the word or supporting others in their Extra Life fundraising efforts is a great start. Donations of any value are greatly appreciated and truly make a difference. You can take an active role in fundraising through your own campaign. Sign up here to get your campaign rolling. And if you want to join the larger movement, odds are there’s a local guild you can work with.
Thank you to SickKids Hospital and the Extra Life Toronto Guild for hosting this great kick-off party! It was inspiring to hear all of the speeches, see how our efforts are making a real difference, and connect with others who want to support the cause. Looking forward to continuing my support in 2020!