I’ll be honest. I have been avoiding my website. 2020 has been a rough year for us all and I did not want to write about it.
Not anymore. Desert Bus is coming up and that means there is something good to write about. And I mean truly GOOD. This event raises funds for a GOOD cause. It brings together a positive, kind, and GOOD community online. Personal stories are shared, stories of GOOD people helping each other. There is humor and GOOD entertainment. We all need more of this in our lives.
If you are not familiar with Desert Bus for Hope (literally the most written about event on my site), it is a live-streaming charity event that happens in November. Through internet dance, jokes and absurdity it raises funds for charity. Specifically, Child’s Play Charity and you can read on their website they are “a game industry charity dedicated to improving the lives of children with toys and games in our network of over 185 hospitals worldwide”.
Sounds like a pretty great cause to me.
This charity is close to my heart as it has a connection to my past. I was a sick kid in a hospital. My life was made better because someone donated a video game console and games. Now I get to give back, I get to pay it forward. I can make a difference for a kid who is having a difficult time, and so can you.
There are a lot of things going on in the world, there are many causes to be supported. But if you want to, tune-in, tell a friend, throw in a couple of bucks. We will be live streaming at DesertBus.org starting Friday, November 13th, at 10am PST. I can only speak for myself, but consciously adding some good to this world is exactly what I need right now. Join me?
It’s that time of year again, Desert Bus for Hope. As Halloween ends, the last few candy wrappers are tidied up, the evidence destroyed. The weather gets colder, Starbucks starts pouring beverages in red cups and I find myself on an island in Canada. Victoria, British Columbia to be exact.
Almost every year, for the past eight years, I have
participated in the Desert Bus for Hope online charity event. This is an annual
event that raises funds for Child’s Play Charity, through an online, live-streaming,
video game marathon. That’s the cleanest way to explain it, but it is so much
These days the internet is not known for its safe spaces,
kind voices and supportive environments, but these exist on Desert Bus for
Hope. Live-streaming each year on Twitch, the viewers can watch, donate and
chat all through the website. If you join the chat you will see thousands of
voices with dozens of moderators talking, laughing, sharing pictures and memes.
This is a show that can interact with the audience and bring their voice into
the room. “The Chat” has become its own character, responding to questions and
offering challenges. Depending on the topic, they join in and share their
Child’s Play Charity raises funds to provide games,
consoles, toys and grants to children’s hospitals and domestic shelters. They
help children and families in trauma, in pain, and in need of support. This is
an excellent cause and to truly understand why this means so much to me, I need
to tell you my story.
On the week that I turned 11 years old, I was diagnosed with
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Cancer. I was just a kid and did not understand what that
truly meant. I was told I would lose my hair, that I may get sick and miss
school, that I would probably get tired and lose my appetite. But I wasn’t told
how much pain I would feel. How it wasn’t losing my hair that would be
difficult, but the way other kids at school would treat me because I did not
have any. The pain and discomfort was bad, but the loneliness and the feeling
of ‘other’ was excruciating. I was just a kid and just wanted to be a kid.
I spent a lot of time at the hospital. During Halloween,
Thanksgiving, and New Year’s Eve I was sick in the hospital, in isolation. It
was during one of these stays that a nurse rolled in a TV and SNES (Super
Nintendo). The only game available was Super Mario Bros, but that’s all I
needed. Once I figured out how to play, everything was different. I was no
longer a sick kid in the hospital, fighting for my life. I was just a kid.
Instead of being weak and in a bed, I could run and jump and fly! For a brief moment I didn’t feel weird, or
other or alone. I got to just be a kid. This is the magic and joy that gaming
brought to my life.
The Desert Bus for Hope event has raised so much for the kids. This year is the 13th annual Desert Bus and on day three we hit 5.5 Million Dollars lifetime. As I write this we are at $401,000 and on target to ‘bus’ until midnight Thursday night (November 14th, 2019).
Please consider checking out the website, donating, and
watching the stream. You can find us at desertbus.org. The fine folks on stream will dance, sing,
tell stories and so much more all to raise money for this great cause. Join a
fine community and help out the kid who just wants to be a kid.