Last night GamesAid, the umbrella charity of the UK games industry, announced that they've raised over half a million pounds for children’s charities in the last year. That money has gone to eight charities, which each received £70,500.
Because the charities have to be small with low admin costs to be eligible, this small amount of money can make a huge difference. The director of the newest charity to receive money, The Clock Tower Sanctuary in Brighton, was visibly crying as she received her charity’s cheque, and described the difference it would make to the lives of the people she helps.
“Our city unfortunately has one of the biggest homeless populations in the UK and we also hold the unfortunate moniker of 'The Drugs Capital of the UK'. With youth homelessness on the rise, we have been struggling to cope with demand on our services. This donation is one of the biggest we have received in our 17 years of history – it will make a huge difference, enabling us to bring to life new projects which will help vulnerable homeless young people get their lives back on track and move away from a life on the streets. This money will genuinely change lives. I'm not sure when I'm going to stop smiling.”
GamesAid itself is an umbrella charity that funnels cash to projects its members deem worthy - normally ones to do with vulnerable children. Eight charities won a share of the money last night, ranging from Lifelites, a charity that provides entertainment and assistance to over 9,000 children in hospices, to Accuro, which helps homeless people under the age of 25, to SpecialEffect, which creates, buys and shares specialist equipment for disabled gamers.
The eight charities each received £70,500 of the pot, which itself was 30% up on the previous year. That money comes from product donations by games companies, from fundraising activities by industry members, and from consumers ticking the GamesAid Humble Bundle donation option. This year people swam to Alcatraz, climbed three mountains in 24 hours, and put on comedy shows to raise money.
If you want to donate to GamesAid or join the organisation, then you can visit their website, GamesAid.org. You can also buy donated games from their Ebay store. It’s one of the easiest ways for gamers to do something unambiguously good.