WF gaming fundraiser reaches large audience thanks to social media

Gamers raise money for Children's Miracle Network

WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - The spirit of giving is upon us and one group in Wichita Falls has raised thousands of dollars playing video games over the weekend, raising money for United Regional's Children's Miracle Network.

They’re called the Wichita Falls Gamers for Good, fundraising for “Extra Life,” and for 24 hours straight, they played video games to raise money for United Regional, the hospital the group supports. It’s one of the many new ways people are choosing to give back.

“It’s come a long way, you know, since a long nine years ago when I think I raised $200 or something like that,” Walter Lambert, creator of Gamers for Good said.

This year, they raised just under $4,000 for the Children’s Miracle Network. Of the 25 participants, Lambert says a third played for the entire 24 hours, and that whole time they were live streaming and keeping those watching updated on social media.

“Throughout, they were doing different posts, asking for donations and telling people what we were up to, taking challenges, playing different games,” Lambert said.

He credits those posts to the growth their charity event has seen over the last ten years.

“I would say that social media probably is 90% of the reason people know what we are doing and gives them an avenue to donate,” Lambert said.

Sonia White with the Center For Nonprofit Management and Leadership says that shift to social media is a growing trend among fundraisers.

“Every time they look at their phone, there’s potential that they could be looking at an add or a social media campaign that you’re a part of,” White said.

Fundraisers like “Extra Life” have much greater reach with their focus being online.

“Even if you only have 20 dollars to give, but if you can collectively find 30 other people that will also give 20 dollars, you’re really making an impact,” White said.

“A friend would comment on my page, and they would share the donation link, and then I would see somebody else interact with that,” Lambert said.

“Extra Life” isn’t the only local charity event that’s turned to social media. “Texoma Gives” also uses those platforms to guide smaller non-profits to bring more awareness to their cause.

You can still join their “Extra Life” team and donate with this link.

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