Reclaimed Rails is partnering with a local Bondurant resident to raise money in order to fund a video game cart to Blank Children's hospital. Here is Josh's story:
Josh’s YouTube Story
In 2017, I started a personal YouTube channel called SparkyGaming about my video game activities. I’ve always been big in the MLB: The Show online community—the Major League Baseball video game series for PlayStation—and hung out in several other content creators’ digital streams regularly. After earning a spot in one creator’s tournament called “Beanie Antics” and streaming it with my own TV and PlayStation, I was addicted, and SparkyGaming was born.
I quickly developed a YouTube following and started streaming more regularly. After my setup became more professional and my viewership continued to grow, I began to receive donations/tips from viewers. I’m an electrician by trade and make a nice living, so this extra income wasn’t a necessity for me and my wife. I started to look for better uses for the money, and where it might do some good.
In March of 2018, I came up with the idea of streaming for charity. I would dedicate a special marathon stream to a designated charity, and all funds earned during that day would go to this charity. The first charity I chose to benefit was The Lone Survivor Foundation, which helps veterans with PTSD. My first charity stream raised $450 with less than 1,000 subscribers at that time. A modest success I was really proud of.
Why Gamer's Outreach?
In late July of 2018, my subscribers broke 1,000 and I began looking for my next benefactor.
I’ve always had two major soft spots for charity work: veterans and children. I came across Gamer's Outreach when I was invited to play in a content creator tournament that was benefitting Gamer's Outreach. The tournament was put on by content creator “Nurse Gamer Ryan,” who was raising funds for a medically safe portable video game cart (known as “Go Karts to GO”) for the Children's Hospital of San Diego. Go Karts provide safe and portable entertainment for the sick children in their units.
As I began to research the charity, I learned that Gamer’s Outreach provides Go Karts to children's hospitals all across the country, and on the list of hospitals that have received a Go Kart from the charity was Blank Children's Hospital here in Des Moines. And, Blank Children’s Hospital indicated they needed more Go Karts. I instantly knew I had found the charity to contribute to!
But unlike my previous charity stream, I wanted to raise far more than $450, as each Go Kart costs $3500. With a higher financial goal, I knew this event would have to be bigger than my last one, and that I would need to involve my community. I live in the Bondurant, IA area, and in the summer of 2018, Bondurant suffered substantial flood and tornado damage. While attending a community fundraiser for tornado and flood victims at Reclaimed Rails, another idea clicked. I approached the owner of Reclaimed Rails with my charity streaming idea and he instantly ran with it. Soon after, Roni Schuling got on board to help, and the event began to really take shape.
Our goals, and how we will give back...
Our main goal of this event is to raise enough money to provide Blank Children's Hospital with another Go Kart to use in their facility. We’re not stopping at one, though, and we’re dreaming big! If we raise funds beyond the first Go Kart, a second Go Kart will be provided to Blank Children's Hospital.
If we keep going, a third Go Kart will be donated to The University of Iowa Children's Hospital in Iowa City, a fourth to Nurse Gamer Ryan’s Children's Hospital of San Diego, and a fifth to Rose Medical Center, or their children's hospital affiliate in Denver, Colorado, the hospital where Josh was born six weeks premature. Anyone who has ever had a sick child in the hospital knows how scary it can be for them, and how long the days can get. But Go Karts are a true comfort and welcomed distraction!
We have multiple sponsorship levels for both personal and corporate donations. Please look at the following flyers and pass them out to anyone you think may be interested in helping us out!