Omar Beach: Philanthropist By Proxy
If I ever wanted anyone to get involved in one of my posts and/or tell a friend about it, this would be it (for the moment).
Most of you who would read this know that I am not a Grade A, healthy specimen, I am what you would call flawed, in that I have a blood disease (But malaria can kiss my ass, cause I can’t get it). You would also know that I spend my fair share of time in the hospital (code named: vacationing), but you might not know that the amount of time I spend there now, doesn’t even closely compare to the amount of time I spent there as a child. Until about the age of 12, you could pretty much pencil me in for about a week’s stay, every month, if not more, with no exaggeration whatsoever. There was not a single staff member on the pediatrics floor of my home hospital(s) who didn’t know Omar or when he was in one of their beds (I have no idea why I’m writing in the third person). I was such a frequent flier that two hospitals in particular had specific toys that were “mine” when I was there (I was a navy brat, so I spent my youth in multiple states); One was an ET doll (which right now, I can’t tell you why I was so attached to it), the other, when I was a little older, was a Donkey Kong arcade machine. If you were in my ward at the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Virginia (where somewhere, I shit you not, is an actual television commercial that I was in, which aired all over VA, for years I’m told) and if you played the Donkey Kong machine, if I was able to get out of bed, you played me, again, no exaggeration, I basically sublet the toys out when I wasn’t in the hospital. So when I tell you that the children in those hospitals benefit from toys in hospitals, I tell you this with expert experience. So what I would like to do here is call attention to the Child’s Play charity. The Child’s Play charity was started by the duo behind the Penny Arcade internet comic. Its mission is simply to get toys to kids in hospitals. Penny Arcade (which is a hilarious comic) is basically a satire of Games and the Gaming universe by the 2 gamers who create it (writer Jerry Holkins and illustrator Mike Krahulik, Tycho and Gabe, respectively of the comic) and while one of my reasons for loving this charity is apparent, the other is because, as a gamer, I love the idea of shitting on the external image of the gamer. We aren’t all 12 year olds, sitting on Xbox live throwing “fuck you faggggg” comments while playing Grand Theft Auto (but only because I don’t have my Xbox yet, it comes in the mail tomorrow). We are a broad spectrum of people, all ages, all races, all incomes, all lifestyles and looking at the $1 million raised this year alone so far, we are also, altruistic (oh yeah, I’m a wordsmith bitch). The charity couldn’t be easier to support either, I’ve done it a few times, I haven’t done it this year yet (but now that I’ve written this, I pretty much have to): You simply go to the website http://www.childsplaycharity.org/ pick a hospital (unfortunately none of mine are on the ever growing list yet) and you get the hospital’s info and buy something(s) from their particular wish list, you can also donate cash to fund the organization as a whole (which is evenly distributed). It also isn’t very expensive either, I usually spend about $30 bucks for 2-4 toys. The lists aren’t completely extravagant. Sure, they might want a PS3 console (who wouldn’t), but they’d also like some books or DVDs or a cheap little doll or building blocks (do they still make building blocks?). I use amazon.com, where the toys can be shipped directly to your hospital, I also tend to send a video game (they don’t necessarily need to be the newest or most expensive games). I buy games because they can be exceptional time wasters and distractors and that is one of the greatest weapons for children who are: hurting, scared, may not have their parents there all the time, terminal or just want to be home but can’t be. Regular kids don’t spend time in hospitals, so going can be quite hard on someone who has spent every night of their life in their own bed, near their parents, and regardless of their normalcy, no one wants to be there, but for the cost of a night at a bar or the movies, you can give a huge number of kids a huge number of hours of simple, mindless fun. As a child, when I could get out of the bed, even if I hurt, I would drag myself and my IV to that Donkey Kong game and for the hours that the play room was open, I wasn’t thinking of the fact that I was hurting so bad that I couldn’t be physically touched, I just wanted to save that chick and beat that monkey and keep my high score. To this day, I carry a bag, so ridiculously full of crap to the hospital, because I want to do everything to forget where I am; geographically and physically and mentally. I absolutely realize this post may be heavy handed and seems like Sally Struthers
should pop up at any moment and I don’t plan to bring down the blog or try to guilt people into doing things they didn’t plan on doing on a regular basis and trust me, I know that right now especially, money isn’t growing on trees, but if you’ve got 5 or 10 bucks or whatever, I’d personally be grateful if you sent it to help some good kids in a place they’d rather not be. Thank You.