get your charity on

The boys at “Penny Arcade”:http://www.penny-arcade.com/ make, in my opinion, some pretty decent comics, and I’ve always been a fan of Tycho’s writing. I’m not alone in my approval, of course, and they regularly terrify their advertisers the click-through rates they can provide. There’s a good reason that the advertising they run works so very well: they’ve built up a lot of credibility with their community over the last 5 years, and they play stingy with that social capital by only accepting ads for things that they think their readers will be interested in, rather than just things whose vendors want to get in front of PA’s relatively-massive audience.

This year they’ve outdone themselves, IMO, by spending some of that capital on a “toy drive”:http://www.penny-arcade.com/childsplay/ for a local children’s hospital. Just as the advertisers are blown away the success of campaigns running on the site, I think the “hospital in question”:http://www.seattlechildrens.org/ is probably reeling a little from the “incredible”:http://www.penny-arcade.com/childsplay/9.htm “quantity”:http://www.penny-arcade.com/childsplay/18.htm “of”:http://www.penny-arcade.com/childsplay/24.htm “toys”:http://www.penny-arcade.com/childsplay/12.htm. As of this writing, none of the Lego on the “wish list”:http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/registry/2W2ZGW4875AML/ref%3Dwl%5Fs%5F3/002-4534135-1405607 is available for purchase from Amazon, and I can’t help but think that it’s “not coincidence”:http://www.penny-arcade.com/childsplay/4.htm.

If you were thinking of getting me something for Christmas, you have your orders. They’re going to branch out and do drives for more hospitals next year, so I should lean on my friends at CHEO and Sick Kids’ and see if I can’t get them involved. I get misty whenever I think about kids in hospitals, and I’m “so far past misty”:http://www.penny-arcade.com/childsplay/letter2.htm right now that it’s not funny. Even in the way that a grown man crying is usually funny.

5 comments to “get your charity on”

  1. entered 4 December 2003 @ 11:34 am

    If you need a hookup at Sick Kids, look no further than to Chelsea Gay, who works in their PR division, and likely knows who to talk to about things like getting toy donations.

  2. entered 4 December 2003 @ 11:43 am

    Yes, indeed, that was The Plan.

  3. entered 4 December 2003 @ 1:55 pm

    Children’s hopsitals are amazing places. I think I cry at least once a week working here. And it’s not always out of sorrow, but out of admiration for these kids and their families and the remarkable strength they show. It gives you a new perspective on your life.

    I’m so impressed with that Gabe and Tycho have done and fully intend on getting HSC on their radar for next year. I’ve seen first hand how things like video games, books and toys really help make the situtaion a bit more bareable for the patients. It’s really great that they’re doing the gaming angle for the older kids too.

    The following is an excerpt from our donations page:

    Donate

    “Through the generosity of individuals and organizations, special donations of “Gifts In Kind” are distributed to the children as a way of providing them with a source of comfort and compassion, as they face the illness process. These gifts are given to supply over 15 Playrooms and 50 Clinic Waiting areas with toys and activities for birthday, cultural and end of treatment celebrations during invasive and painful procedures for lengthy and frequent hospital stays, But mostly, to provide a special level of care which will augment the excellent medical treatment and support which is delivered daily.

    All donations of NEW items may be left at the Main Information Desk, located on the Main floor of the Atrium, accessible from Elizabeth Street. This location is easily accessed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For Infection control reasons, we are not able to accept used toys.

    Our hospital cares for patients from birth through to 18 years of age. Please avoid toys containing small pieces, which may pose a choking hazard as well as items with sharp edges.

    You can bring donations to:

    The Hospital for Sick Children Foundation 555 University Avenue Toronto, Ontario M5G 1X8

  4. entered 5 December 2003 @ 2:12 pm

    While Penny Arcade’s audience size is clearly a Big Factor(tm) and a nice future objective for Canadian hospital benefit, what about doing something more immediately, even if smaller-scale, for CHEO/Sick Kids? It’s not like your readership is too shabby, let alone the readership/audience/unsuspecting victims of the joint network of you and all of your closest friends. :)

    Thoughts on some sort of joint effort?

  5. entered 7 December 2003 @ 9:20 pm

    I think a joint effort would be grand, I say grand!