18
Dec

Charities for Gamers

Inspired by the spirit of the season, we’ve compiled a list of non-profit organizations that have ties to games, gamers, and the issues that directly impact our community. As with all charity groups, we encourage you to do your research before you choose to give your time or your resources. Tell us about your favorite charities in the comments below.

 

 

ABLEGAMERS FOUNDATION

The AbleGamers Charity helps improve accessibility for video-gamers by providing grants which go towards custom gaming rigs and assistive technology for the disabled. They also offer advice and analysis to game developers on how to make their creations available to as many people as possible.

ANXIETY GAMING

Anxiety Gaming is a non-profit focused on providing mental health resources to the gaming community and elimination of negative stigmas. They offer guidance as to how to get help, therapy and medication grants, charity drives, mental health training, video game donations to foster kids, and a network of supporters who study, treat, and who have recovered from mental illnesses.

THE BODHANA GROUP

The Bodhana Group is built around the idea that tabletop gaming and roleplaying can be used to improve many aspects of people’s lives (like social and coping skills, math and reading) and advocate for the use of these kinds of games as a part of comprehensive therapy and education programs. They provide training and professional development, distribute donated games, organize events and conventions (like “Save Against Fear”), and push for research into how best to utilize games for treatment and learning.

CHARITY-GAMING

Charity-Gaming organizes fundraising to provide video games to kids who are stuck in hospitals and who are dealing with chronic diseases. The goal of their organization is to bring joy back into the lives of children who are struggling with illness.

CHARITY NERDS

Created by a kid who had to endure long stays under confinement in a hospital and who kept up hope with video gaming, Charity Nerds raises money and takes donations to get videos games to those same kind of kids. They host tournaments and offer an online store that supports kids in hospital settings, foster homes, at-risk youth centers, and active duty military situations.

CHILD’S PLAY

One of the largest and most well-known gamer charities, Child’s Play provides games and toys to kids in hospitals and shelters, worldwide. They support wish-lists for these kinds of facilities that allow them to update the community on their newest needs and get help from both their neighbors and the gaming community, at large.

COMIC BOOK LEGAL DEFENSE FUND

The CBLDF is a legal assistance non-profit that is centered on the First Amendment rights of the readers, creators, publishers, retailers, and librarians who handle comics and graphic novels. They oppose censorship and promote free expression and freedom of information through legal aid, education, and advocacy.

CREATIVE COMMONS

Creative Commons is a global non-profit that provides tools and licenses that make it easy for creators of all stripes to share their creations with everyone, allowing them to choose to retain some or all legal rights to the work or to gift it to fellow collaborators, everywhere. Their goal is to create standardized indicators that will tell everyone what kinds of music, art, written works, and other inventions are restricted under law and which ones are free for all to share and use.

ELECTRONIC FRONTIER FOUNDATION

The highly-rated EFF defends civil liberties, free expression, user privacy, and technological innovation in a digital world through analysis, education, activism, legislative work, and the development of software tools. Their efforts reach into international concerns of free speech, privacy, security, transparency, and the protection of creative endeavors.

EXTRA LIFE

Extra Life organizes gaming marathons and charity streams to channel lifesaving money into the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, which uses those funds to help save kids. Volunteers can donate money or game-playing time for fundraising – and any kind of game is welcome!

FIRST BOOK

First Book is a highly-rated charity that serves kids in need and low-income families by partnering with educators to make education equality a reality. They provide books and media resources, as well as coats, snacks, and other needed materials to those young students who require the most help. Their goal is to close the achievement gap caused by poverty with outstanding literacy support.

GAMECHANGER CHARITY

Founded by the family of a cancer survivor who used video games to cope with Leukemia, the GameChanger charity now provides games and toys to sick kids, scholarships to survivors and young role models, and hosts gaming events like the “Gamers Give Back Tour,” which brings care and fun to those who are fighting disease.

GAMERS OUTREACH FOUNDATION

The Gamers Outreach Foundation was started by a group of high school students trying to deliver video games to kids at their local hospital. Now, they organize charity events and fundraise to help put “GO Karts” (video game carts that can be rolled into kids’ hospital rooms) into as many hospitals as they can. These portable gaming stations help sick kids cope with therapy and isolation, and provide a bit of recreation and normalcy in an otherwise difficult situation.

GAMES DONE QUICK

The Games Done Quick LLC is a fundraising company that manages semi-annual video game speedrun marathon events which are streamed live on Twitch. They raise money for several charities – primarily Doctors Without Borders and the Prevent Cancer Foundation.

GAMES FOR CHANGE

G4C is more of a social movement than a charity, and it encourages game-makers to use their talents to directly address critical and complex issues within our society. They host festivals and provide information and encouragement to the creatives who wish to tackle challenges and build games that have an impact on those who play them.

GIRLS WHO CODE

The Girls Who Code non-profit is dedicated to closing the gender gap in computer science and tech, bringing girls and women into the field through their education programs, clubs, and a series of New York Times Bestselling books. They offer workshops and networks of peers who help their fellow coders from elementary ages all the way into the post-graduate level.

GLOBAL GAME JAM

The Global Game Jam is an annual, worldwide event that brings together game-makers and creatives for a multi-day collaboration with the goal of making games. Similar to a hackathon, the GGJ sets a theme and time parameters for the session, and it’s up to the participants to work together to innovate and experiment. Their next jam session is January 25-27, 2019.

GUARDIANCON

GuardianCon is an annual gaming convention in Florida that raises money and support for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. Their next convention is scheduled for July 5-6, 2019 where they hope to raise four million dollars for the charity.

THE HARRY POTTER ALLIANCE

Originally founded to draw attention to human rights violations in Sudan, the HPA is now a worldwide network of like-minded enthusiasts who believe in the magic of activism. This charity casts a wide net, tackling the challenges of literacy, economic justice, climate change, media reform, gender equity, LGBTQIA equality, youth advocacy, racial justice, labor rights, body image issues, and immigration reform.

HUMBLE BUNDLE

Humble Bundle is a digital storefront offering a wide selection of games, eBooks, software, and other digital content with one great twist – flexible pricing that lets you decide how much of your money goes to charity. Aside from their namesake game and software bundles, they also offer a monthly subscription service, lots of online events, and even a publishing platform and support for indie game developers to get started.

IGDA FOUNDATION

The International Game Developers Association Foundation is a professional organization of computer and video game creators who seek to improve the lives and livelihoods of everyone involved in those fields. They bring industry developers together to advocate for quality of life issues, education, legal and business issues, diversity, inclusivity, and they work against censorship.

MAGIC WHEELCHAIR

Magic Wheelchair is an organization of volunteers that builds custom costumes for kids in wheelchairs, at no cost to their families. For anyone who is into cosplay or just loves Halloween, their work is well worth a look.

NATIONAL ALLIANCE ON MENTAL ILLNESS

NAMI is a highly-rated, grassroots advocacy group that educates and advocates about mental illness and provides a help line to those in immediate need. They are a long-standing organization, have garnered many awards, and are supported by avowed nerds Mayim Bialik and Wil Wheaton, among many others.

PROLITERACY WORLDWIDE

ProLiteracy is an international non-profit that works to improve adult literacy through raising awareness, advocacy, training, and research. They are a highly rated charity with a national book fund and a program for volunteers to become certified trainers in adult education.

REACH OUT AND READ

ROR is a highly-rated charitable organization which strives to improve literacy in young children at that critical window of brain development when they can gain the most from a good foundation in reading. ROR encourages out-loud family reading with kids and distributes books to kids through their network of medical professionals who “prescribe” reading as part of regular check-ups.

ST. JUDE’S PLAY LIVE

St. Jude’s Play Live is a series of livestreaming and IRL events where gamers create fundraising campaigns, play through challenges, and funnel donations to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. Charity campaigns are happening all the time, so there are plenty of opportunities to donate while you’re watching your favorite gamers.

SPECIAL EFFECT (The Gamers’ Charity)

Special Effect is a UK-based charity that provides customized game controllers and communication/interface tech to gamers with disabilities, free of charge. The charity can often be found at various races and sporting events to raise money. They also host Gameblast, a gaming marathon weekend where gamers can do their part for their fellow players. The next one is February 22-24, 2019.

STACK-UP

The Stack-Up program is a charity serving veterans and military personnel, both behind the lines and while deployed, who can benefit from the therapeutic benefits of video games and the camaraderie of fellow gamers. They send out gaming systems through their supply crate program, send vets to conventions, and help their volunteers stay connected with those at risk from the aftermath of trauma and PTSD.

TAKE THIS

Take This is a mental health non-profit that serves the gaming community by bringing awareness to issues affecting players and industry professionals to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health. They provide guidelines, training, and resources, as well as sponsored “AFK Rooms” at gaming conventions – quiet areas staffed by trained volunteers and clinicians to help quell anxiety.

TOYS FOR TOTS

The Marine Toys for Tots program collects and distributes toys and games to needy children at Christmas. The charity is over 70 years old and is highly-rated, breaking all other records by donating over half a trillion toys since its inception.

WIKIMEDIA FOUNDATION

Last but not least, the online encyclopedia Wikipedia and it’s parent, the Wikimedia Foundation, is a non-profit that aims to be a free and fully accessible repository for all human knowledge. It is highly rated, ubiquitous, and Wikipedia remains the fourth most visited website in the world.

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