Gaming for a good cause

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PHOTO COURTESY OF HDRINC.COM
PHOTO COURTESY OF HDRINC.COM

Derek Munyon

Arts & Entertainment Editor

Video games are more popular than ever and kids of all ages have their favorite genre. You’re all probably playing games any chance you get, but on Nov. 7 you can do it for a cause.

Dust off the old Super NES for some “Super Mario World” or boot up your “Angry Birds” game and play to raise funds and awareness for Children’s Hospital & Medical Center during the 2015 Extra Life Game Day.

Players can register alone or with a team at Extra-Life.org and seek donations from friends and family while playing their favorite games. The funds raised while participants play games for 24 hours stay local to help the various chapters of the Children’s Miracle Network.

Last year, the Omaha hospital received over $26,000 in donations thanks to Extra Life. Since 2008, the event has raised more than $14 million.

This mission is important to the young patients of the 170 Children’s Miracle Network hospitals. The health centers are located in five states and are considered the best children’s hospital by U.S. News and World Report for cardiology, heart surgery, gastroenterology and orthopedics. Children’s has Nebraska’s only Level IV New-born Intensive Care Unit and the state’s only Level II Pediatric Trauma Center.

Performers Marie Osmond and John Schneider founded the Children’s Miracle Network in 1983 out of Salt Lake City. Since its inception, it has raised more than $5 billion, mostly from the $1 donations that people often give at store checkouts.

You may recognize the charity drive from their red and yellow hot air balloon.

For those of you who are skeptical about charitable giving, have no fear. The Children’s Miracle Net-work has a favorable rating from the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance.

On top of that, they are also viewed favorably by agencies that evaluate charities, such as Charity Navigator, which gives them 4 out of 4 stars and 100% for accountability and transparency.

Eighty-eight percent of the funds raised by the organization goes toward the programs it provides, with the rest going to administrative and fundraising costs.

To play for kids treated at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center, register at childrensomaha.org/ extralife. You can also tweet about the event with #extralife, or check out their Facebook page.

You’re going to play games anyway, so you might as well raise some money while you’re doing it.

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