When his dream of a high school Halo tournament was crushed, Xbox MVP Zach Wigal just dreamed bigger.
What’s the one thing that can help make a kid’s stay in the hospital more comfortable? That’s right, video games. And Gamers Outreach Foundation, the brainchild of Xbox MVP Zach Wigal, is helping make sure they get them.
The idea for Gamers Outreach was spawned when Zach was a high school student, trying to organize a Halo tournament at his school. A local police officer complained it wasn’t suitable and Zach decided to shift the focus of the tournament (which he was committed to make happen, if in a new location) to show that gamers coming together could have a positive impact on people’s lives.
The resulting tournament, Gamers for Giving, has become the annual fundraising event for the Gamers Outreach Foundation, where Zach serves as executive director. The events help fund GO Karts (Gamers Outreach Karts), portable video game kiosks which allow hospital staff members to easily transport video games and other sources of entertainment to patients. In addition, the organization supplies video game care packages to United States troops serving overseas through its Fun for our Troops initiative and hosts fund raising events for its own projects as well as a variety of causes and charity organizations through its program, Gaming4Others.
The most recent Gamers for Giving’s headline activities included a Halo 4 tournament, a Black Ops 2 tournament, and a 200-person LAN party that also featured PC gaming competitions (League of Legends, Counter Strike GO, and StarCraft 2). The event attracted 456 participants and the live stream captured more than 340,000 views.
Most importantly, the event raised more than $15,000, which the Foundation can use to build two GO Karts, send 150 care packages to troops overseas and provide $2,000 to Eastern Michigan's ROTC department, which is helping to get the word out about their game care packages to deployed troops.
You can find out more about the Gamers Outreach Foundation at their web site: http://gamersoutreach.org, where you can also donate and keep up with the latest happenings.