Your eyes are not deceiving you. Me, the blogger who once wrote, “Vista causes cancer,” is vowing to never, ever speak badly of Vista again. I don’t care if Vista shoots my eye out with a BB gun. I will get a sexy eye patch. I don’t care if Vista deletes every picture I’ve ever taken in my life. I will make new memories. I don’t care if Vista begins breeding pigeons. I will simply up my pigeon-murder rate accordingly.
Why you ask? Why this virtual hugging of that which I previously wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole slathered in anti-bacterial fungicide?
Because a day after I announced that we would be targeting the transplant floor at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh for Make Room for Kids, I got an email from an employee at Pittsburgh’s Microsoft office, basically saying, “We’d like to help.”
And I said, “Accepted! Also, I’m sorry about all the crap I spew about Vista.”
So, we’ve spent the last few weeks, my butler Mike and I, going back and forth with Luke Sossi of Microsoft (his wife is a reader. HI, LUKE’S WIFE!), Nancy Angus at the Mario Lemieux Foundation, and each other in which we would send texts and emails that basically would say, “HOLY CRAP! ISN’T THIS AWESOME?! PINCH ME!! NO DON’T! I DON’T WANT TO WAKE UP!!”
What has resulted is this official offer from the local Microsoft EMPLOYEES with an assist from corporate. That’s right. People. Burghers. Wanting to help Make Room for Kids.
o Donated by Employees – Microsoft employees based in Pittsburgh donated (7) XBOX Consoles. This equated to roughly $1,700 in personal donations which they are going to submit to Microsoft through their Employee Matching Program. In other words, these personal contributions provided (7) consoles directly plus the funds for (7) more consoles. This means that this effort alone provided (14) consoles against the goal of (24).
o XBOX Consoles Donated by Gaming Group – They were also able to secure (2) additional consoles from the Gaming Group taking the total to (9).
XBOX Controllers – In order for each room to have an additional controller (one controller comes with the console), Microsoft is going to donate (24) controllers. They are also working on securing another 6-12 controllers which can be checked out along with the games. This will allow for family members to play games when they are visiting. The value of the controllers is around $1,000.
XBOX Hospital Kiosks – Microsoft will donate (2) Hospital Kiosks that can be used in a public portion of the transplant ward. They will be on a wheeled platform so the foundation can determine where in the ward it makes sense. The consoles are more than $2k/device.
XBOX 360 Games – Microsoft will donate at least (40) games which will include the following titles; Lips, Sonic & Sega All-stars Racing, Fuzion Frenzy 2, Blue Dragon, Project Gotham Racing 4, You’re in the Movies, Viva Piñata and Scene It! The number and variety of games will increase as we get closer to delivery date.
Employee Purchase Program for Additional Consoles – With the (9) donated consoles, the foundation would only need to acquire (15) so that each room would have their own console. In order to get the most mileage out of the money raised, Microsoft is going to work with the foundation so that it can use the Microsoft Employee discount which will result in a $50 discount/console, which will save $750.
Employee Donations – Several employees asked to participate through a cash contribution.
ARE YOU FREAKING OUT LIKE ME?!
I pretty much burst into tears when I received that final offer email from Luke last night, in which he was sure to bring attention to employee David Severino who was instrumental in making it all happen as well.
Do you realize how much of your money this saved us? How much easier it will be to do everything we want to for that floor with additional hand-held game consoles and ToughBook laptops and whatnot?
And do you see why I am Vista’s new BFF forever and we’re going to get matching heart necklaces and I’ll wear one half and Vista will wear the other and never the twain shall meet?
Microsoft and its local employees are a PERFECT example of why I adore Pittsburgh and the people that do or have called it home. It’s this generosity; this attitude of “we’ll take care of our own.”
I’ll keep you updated as we near delivery date, but for now, GROUP HUG!
And I should point out that I no longer even need to USE Vista because Windows 7 is available and it rocks!