(File photo)

(File photo)

Gaming for the good of animals

Gamers, this is your call of duty, gather your league of legends and prepare to game for the good of animals.

February 19 and 20, 2022, Help a Buddy will be hosting a 24-hour video game marathon where streamers can raise funds for local animal shelters.

Jillanne Bowler-Veltman, with the Help a Buddy charity, said the idea came from her experience with other video game fundraising.

“I had participated in a video game fundraiser for another animal rescue in Edmonton, but the fundraiser was specific to their rescue only. I also am a huge supporter of Extra Life gaming which raises money globally for children’s hospitals.

“Combining the two experiences, and with Help a Buddy’s mandate to help be a supporter of all registered Alberta animal rescue organizations, I thought it would be lovely to have a widespread video game marathon that can help connect multiple rescues and their supporters and be an avenue to raise much-needed funding for any rescue who wanted to do a video game fundraiser.”

During the marathon, each gamer that is signed up will commit to playing video games for a period of 12 hours consecutively. Bowler-Veltman said that avid gamers can then continue the marathon for a full 24 hours.

“We have never participated in the 9 Lives video game marathon before now,” said Tawnya L’Heureux, fundraising and events coordinator for Hope Lives Animal Rescue Society.

The main requirements of the marathon are that gamers must be over the age of 13, and that they have the means to stream their gameplay on Twitch, Youtube or Facebook streaming from the comfort of their own home. The same gamer will be playing for their entire marathon, but they are welcome to take short breaks for stretching, eating, and bathroom necessities.

“The sign up is easy, we have a link on our website where people can select which animal rescue they’d like to raise funds for, then they will set up a personal campaign page. It’s easy for them to share their personal campaign on social media to get friends and animal lovers to support their cause.

Any games at all can be played as long as they comply with the streaming services guidelines of Twitch, Youtube and Facebook streaming. Games can be played on any console and gamers can change games or consoles as often as they want between games as they feel.

The streaming allows marathon runners to check in and watch throughout the marathon.

For the marathon fundraiser, gamers are asked to select which animal charity, including Help a Buddy Fund, they want to raise funds for. Of the money raised, 90 per cent of the proceeds they raise will be distributed to the rescue after the event. The other 10 per cent will be reserved for administrative costs.

Bowler-Veltman said that currently they have a fundraising goal of $40,000 for all seven animal charities involved and that they are hoping to secure at least $2,500 per rescue or more.

“I would love to raise at least $2,000. But I’ve never done a fundraiser like 9 Lives, so I’m unsure of what to expect. As a non-profit rescue we are happy with any money coming in so we can pay down our ever growing veterinary bills,” said L’Heureux.

The Help a Buddy Fund itself is an organization that focuses on securing volunteer and financial resources for registered charity animal welfare groups in Alberta.

“We fundraise year-round to support our granting program, in which we distribute funds to deserving animal welfare groups who have animals in their care for a year or longer,” said Bowler-Veltman.

Rescues are able to sign up until Jan. 31 and gamers are encourage to sign up as soon as possible.