An initiative called Extra Life is uniting thousands of gamers to play games and heal children through their unique fundraising effort benefitting Children's Miracle Network hospitals across North America.

Participants sign up on the group’s website, pledge to play games, and create a fundraising page where others can donate. Many participants set up big group events or host 24-hour or multi-day marathon gaming sessions for the occasion, but participants can also play at home on their own.

Illustration by Carra Sykes for The Goodnewspaper

Children’s Miracle Network raises funds for more than 170 hospitals, which provide 32 million treatments yearly to children across the U.S. and Canada. Donations stay local to fund critical treatments and healthcare services, pediatric medical equipment, and charitable care.

The peer-to-peer fundraising strategy is unique in that few, if any, other nonprofits have pursued fundraising through gaming communities, meaning the initiative taps into a previously untouched community.

The program demonstrates what’s possible when you create compelling campaigns for nontraditional audiences, engaging new supporters that you might not otherwise reach through a walkathon or long-distance bike ride, for example.

Since its inception in 2008, Extra Life has raised more than $70 million.

A version of this story originally ran in The Unconventional Activism Edition of the Goodnewspaper in May 2020. The Goodnewspaper is our monthly print newspaper filled with good news.
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