Child's Play: Gamers Joining Forces to Fulfill Childrens' Dreams

Child's Play's Program Coordinator and Development's Jamie Dillion shares with Sam's Dream Blog about a game industry charity dedicated to improving the lives of children with toys and games.

Sam's Dream Blog: What’s the dream for Child's Play? How did your dream originate?

Jamie Dillion, Child's Play: The dream of Child's Play has always been to improve the lives of hospitalized children through the power of play. In 2003 we organized a toy drive for Seattle Children's Hospital with the goal of providing a brighter holiday for the kids there. Now we send video games, toys, books, movies and more to more than 90 children's welfare facilities around the world.

SDB: What got you thinking about gaming as a charitable idea? How has it progressed?

Jamie Dillion, Child's Play: Child's Play was founded by passionate gamers, and we knew the gaming industry was full of generous, passionate people. As technologies like web streaming, multiplayer functionality, and more develop, the community harnesses it for more complex, more powerful fundraising for the cause.

SDB: What accomplishment are you most proud of?

Jamie Dillion, Child's Play: It's hard to say; the game community blows us away every year with their incredible enthusiasm, and the stories we hear from families, patients, and doctors about the impact made by games and toys in the hospitals are deeply heartwarming. 2013 was our tenth anniversary, and we managed to surpass $20 million lifetime raised, expanded our network to benefit domestic violence shelters, and raised $7.6 million in that year alone! It's all thanks to the support and dedication of the donors and community who make it possible.

SDB: What have been the biggest obstacles or challenges to realizing Child's Play's dream?

Jamie Dillion, Child's Play: We've been fortunate to have an extremely supportive grassroots fundraising community, so many of our challenges have been logistical: building a network of 90 facilities doesn't happen overnight, and growing as consoles and technology change and evolve is a shifting and challenging process.

SDB: What advice do you have for others in pursuit of their dreams?

Jamie Dillion, Child's Play: Connect with and cultivate a community of people that will encourage and support your dream; seek out people with similar dreams and goals and help them on their journeys. By working together and fostering strong relationships, we can support each other in achieving our dreams.

Learn more about Child's Play here, and check back for the next SDB post on Feb. 18.  Thanks for reading!