Let’s talk about something that’s happening with Make Room for Kids that was made official today and you’ll see why I needed to get this post up before the end of the year in a minute.
What I thought would be a one-time, $10,000 gift to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh turned into a more than $20,000 gift thanks to Microsoft and you, that allowed us to completely outfit the transplant ward with gaming and electronics.
Since that time, Microsoft and the Mario Lemieux Foundation have expressed interest in keeping Make Room for Kids going, because there’s a whole hospital outside of the transplant ward filled with sick kids who would also love gaming to make their stay a little more bearable.
For the sake of the kids, I sat down one day and took a look at Make Room for Kids as it sat in my hands, and realized that as long as it sat in my hands, it would be limited in its ability to reach as many sick kids as possible. I’m a blogger. I’m not a nonprofit. I don’t have staff or an office or anything like that.
What I do have, are minions. [fist bump]
So I talked to Mike about what I wanted to do and he was immediately on board.
We then went to the Mario Lemieux Foundation and offered Make Room for Kids to them.
And they accepted it.
Make Room for Kids is now an extension of Austin’s Playroom Project at the Mario Lemieux Foundation.
What does this change?
1. It makes it easier to seek in-kind gifts from companies like OtterBox, Apple, Nintendo, LeapFrog, etc. Instead of writing to them to say MR4K is a social-media project in partnership with MLF, we can say it’s a Mario Lemieux Foundation project supported by social media. That little turn of phrase will go a long way in getting a “yes” from those companies.
2. It allows Microsoft and the Mario Lemieux Foundation to work together in a more official capacity, not just for Make Room for Kids, but in all of the foundation’s playrooms and projects. That means not just sick kids will benefit, but their siblings as well. Since they came on board, the local Microsoft office has stayed heavily involved in MR4K, but I’ll get to that in a sec.
3. It doesn’t change anything for me and you because I will still be involved in raising the money for the project, particularly the money needed for the items outside of the XBoxes. I’ll still be using social media to help MLF get the funds to buy iPads, Leapsters, handheld gaming systems, games, laptops, etc. All of those things we bought during Phase II for the transplant ward will still come from money you and I will raise and donate.
4. It means more smiles from more sick kids, and that’s what’s most important to me. A greater reach.
1. Children’s Hospital has identified the next ward that would most benefit from gaming, and that is the Adolescent Medicine ward on the 9th floor, which is also the oncology floor. I’ll give you more information about those kids when we near the time to raise funds for them. They’re troopers. Truly.
2. The local Microsoft office, via employee donations and corporate matches, has ALREADY DONATED THE 24+ XBOXES NEEDED TO OUTFIT THAT WARD. I know. Amazing.
3. Come late January, early February, we will launch an on-line giving campaign here at That’s Church to raise the $10,000 needed to purchase the iPads, laptops, etc. for the Adolescent Medicine ward, just as we did to raise that first $10,000 for the transplant ward. We are hoping for an April delivery and install.
4. Here’s why I needed to post this now: If you’d like to get your donation in before the end of the tax year, you can do that by clicking here and donating via PayPal directly to MLF’s Make Room for Kids fund. Anything donated from this point on will be going toward the Adolescent Medicine ward phase of Make Room for Kids.
I’m so excited to know that this little project we started will continue to put smiles on the faces of more of Pittsburgh’s sick children as they bravely fight whatever ails them.
You’ll be hearing more from me about this in the new year!
Much love to you all.