When the creators of the popular web comic Penny Arcade created the Child’s Play initiative in 2003, they had no idea how big it would get. That first year they raised $250,000 in toys and money for kids at the Seatlle Children’s Hospital to “make the holidays a little bit brighter for the kids in need.”
Every year the donations have grown, and they continue to work to get toys and contributions to kids in over 90 hospitals around the world.
This year, the take was $7.6 million.
“It’s absolutely mind boggling,” they wrote in an official statement, adding
Ten years ago, we wouldn’t have believed it possible. That’s more than the cumulative total for the first six years of Child’s Play, raised in the last 12 months. Not only have you been able to support our growing network of hospitals, but we’re also been able to expand our initiatives and benefit children in domestic violence shelters. In 2014 that program will move past the pilot program to encompass facilities across the country and provide them with vital resources to support the kids they see every day.
Child life specialists reach out to us every year, overwhelmed and amazed at the generosity of gamers. The iPads they use help distract and comfort kids as they prep for surgery. An Xbox will find its way to the community playroom for siblings to play together again. The movies, craft supplies, CDs, toys, and books sent from Amazon wishlists let kids just be kids for a moment: not sick kids, not hurt kids, not scared or lonely kids. Just kids playing like kids.”
The donations are almost entirely from gamers in small denominations, rather than large grants or sponsors. In 10 years they have raised a total of $25,196,670.
Go to childsplaycharity.org for more information.