Child's Play Charity Expands to Domestic Violence Shelters
Entering its tenth year of fundraising, the game industry charity is expanding its scope beyond providing toys and games to children in hospitals.
Child's Play Charity announced today that the charity has selected ten domestic violence facilities for a pilot program to expand the reach of the charity. Since 2003, Child's Play has raised money to provide toys and games to children in hospitals. At the Penny Arcade Expo East in 2012, Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins of Penny Arcade announced that work had begun to broaden the charity to include domestic violence shelters. Unlike hospitals, these shelters are smaller and face challenges like keeping the location anonymous in order to protect those seeking help. Child's Play program coordinator and developer Jamie Dillion shared today the custom gaming cabinet developed over the last year for use in these shelters. The self-contained kiosk comes with a television, console, and games.
In the announcement, Dillion says, "Within our pilot program, we have domestic violence facilities that provide emergency housing, long term housing, counseling, legal advocacy, and a variety of youth and family care programs, but there was one unifying factor to each and every one: They're in need of ways to support, entertain, distract and interact with traumatised youth." After the pilot project, Child's Play has plans for the game kiosk. "As we get feedback and fine-tune the manufacturing and distribution process, we will expand the network to include facilities nationwide," says Dillion.
Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins of the web comic Penny Arcade founded Child's Play in 2003. In 2012, the charity raised over $5 million for hospitals all over the world. Events like Desert Bus for Hope from the Loading Ready Run comedy troupe and other gaming marathons raise money for Child's Play. The official fundraising drive for 2013 began November 1, but fundraising also happens throughout the year.
Source: Child's Play Charity
I'd like to think this will not just result in spreading the charity elsewhere to children in need, but in spreading public awareness and action to the scourge of domestic violence and child abuse. I myself the victim of very severe abuse as a child (from which I was not protected, but this was in the 80s), know all too well that ignorance is a poison that allows this sort of cruelty, and the damage it can cause throughout life, to go unchecked or unanswered.
At any rate I am glad to see they are branching out further. This is a wonderful organization, and they've come a very long way over the years.
Just to make sure that I understood this right, this is for kids/youth from abusive homes right?
Does this include parent and child situations like a single parent with their kid who've gone to the shelter?
My immediate thought when I read it, was that it was for adult shelters(or probably just womens shelters) and though I'm nearing 30, I'm not quite sure how effective a tool it'd be for adults who are in a (hopefully) temporary situation.
The point being, there's a lot of homeless shelters with.. longterm residents who, in my opinion, might benefit more from it. There's a very nice article about it here on the escapist.
I'm not qualified or experienced enough to say who's more deserving, I'm just unsure of how these places work.
Its nice to think something that started as a way to shut Jack Thompson's stupid face hole up has managed to do so much good. It was amazing that first year to watch them rent a small space to store the gifts they were sent for one hospital, only for the response from the community to be so good they ran out of space almost instantly.
And I ADORE that they are going in this direction, personal experience aside, something as simple as a small distraction as time spent zoneing out or having fun playing a game can prove to be what makes or breaks someone who is in pretty much the definition of Chaos and fear that Domestic Violence brings, especially to the young.
This is pure genius, I applaud you sir, that is brilliant. If I am not wrong there is an article here in the escapist about people of all ages in shelters that play games that reminds them of home or a better time.
Awwww shucks! That just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy, it's good to know that the video gaming community has a fixed rally point we can all get behind.
I don't care how badly off these kids are; I still think that providing them with free vidya gamez is the most ridiculous and first-world-problemsy thing a charity could possibly do that can still honestly call itself a charity. If Child's Play just straight-up donated money to non-profit children's hospitals and domestic violence shelters, I'd actually be impressed. As it stands, if anything they've done more harm than good by convincing the gaming community and industry that theirs is the only charity worth throwing money at, ensuring that every charity auction, "indie bundle", and event like Desert Bus For Hope gives all of its money to them instead of to something that deserves it more.