Uniting Toons for St. Jude!
When Disney’s Toontown Online was first released back in 2003, it marked the launch of not only a game thousands of individuals across the world would hold near and dear to their hearts, but the start of a community heavily-reliant on the values of teamwork. It’s those core values that are at the heart of what has allowed the world of Toontown to continue to thrive to this day, promoting a space where everyone is welcome, A place where one has fun with both new and old friends, creating everlasting connections that span far beyond the game itself. From boarding groups to help defeat bosses to in-game activities like Racing, Trolley games, or Toono, even to outside platforms like ToonHQ or Discord, Toontown has always been about growing connections and fostering community. And at the heart of the community are you, the players.
As a result over the last 2 decades, the Toontown community has been able to change the lives of countless individuals, in and out of the community, too many to account for in one article. For the purpose of today’s blogspot, we’ll be highlighting the accomplishments by members of Corporate Clash’s Partner Program towards helping St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
What is St. Jude?
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is a scientific and treatment center dedicated to developing cures for pediatric cancers and other childhood diseases. St. Jude is dedicated to helping the community, ensuring that even with their top-of-the-line treatment, no patient ever receives a bill from St. Jude, with all costs either being covered by insurance or by outside donations. For this reason, donating to St. Jude is especially important, as it can literally mean saving lives. In fact, the charity platform PLAY LIVE uses the power of videogames to directly raise money for St. Jude. Taking great pride in supporting others, our Partners have been doing AMAZING work to raise money for St. Jude by playing Toontown!
Q&A - Smirky Bumberpop
We hosted an interview over text with Content Creator and TTCC Partner Smirky, who with his community has raised over $50,000 for St. Jude by playing Toontown, enough to have supported hundreds of children and their families!
1. How'd you first get involved in fundraising for St. Jude?
- I first stumbled upon the St. Jude PLAY LIVE fundraising initiative in 2018. While I had knowledge of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, I was unaware of the PLAY LIVE program. St. Jude PLAY LIVE is essentially a video game charity platform that supports St. Jude, and their motto is: "Play for more than bragging rights." This phrase stuck with me; video games are not always about being the absolute best. Gaming is a medium for people to interact with one another, connect with a group of like-minded individuals, and ultimately make a difference in the world no matter how big or small. I truly believe that gaming does good, and with that belief in mind, my St. Jude PLAY LIVE journey had begun! This is now my 5th year fundraising for St. Jude, and our amazing community of Smirksters have fundraised over $50,000 for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. We won't stop until no child dies in the dawn of life from childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
2. How does St. Jude use the money donated?
- The majority of funds needed to operate and sustain St. Jude must be raised from generous donors, which is where our donations come in. Did you know that it costs $2.8 million a day to operate St. Jude? That's $32 every single second, and if you start counting the seconds, it adds up pretty quickly. St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is an important institution that is leading the way the world understands, treats, and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Despite operation costs, families never actually receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food - all they have to focus on is helping their child live. St. Jude has operated under the support of generous donors and volunteers since 1962, and as they are celebrating their 60th Anniversary this year, I can confidently say that every single donation makes a monumental impact. In fact, 82 cents of every dollar received goes towards the ground-breaking research initiatives and the treatments that St. Jude has invented to push the childhood cancer survival rate from 20% to 80% in the United States. At St. Jude, a single dollar can go a long way. For example, just a $5 donation provides an isolation gown for a St. Jude parent, and that could literally be the difference of whether or not that parent can spend more time with their child. $10 is a new toy in the hospital play areas. $25 provides a 'No More Chemo Party' for a kid at St. Jude to celebrate the completion of chemotherapy. $100 provides a young patient with a red wagon, which is the preferred mode of travel through the halls of St. Jude. Every single dollar truly matters, and every single cent counts.
3. What significance does the Toontown community have towards helping a cause like St. Jude's?
- Ever since I started fundraising for St. Jude PLAY LIVE, I have always wanted to see more involvement from the Toontown community-at-large. Our community is a diverse group of players with various different backgrounds, and people of all ages enjoy playing Toontown. When Danny Thomas founded St. Jude in 1962, he opened up St. Jude to all children across the world, regardless of their background. It did not matter what your differences were, whether it be race, gender, religious beliefs, or socioeconomic status. St. Jude welcomed anyone and everyone who is in need of treatment, and that was monumental for an area such as Memphis, Tennessee, which was a segregated area at the time. When the Toontown community supports St. Jude, they are supporting their widespread mission: Finding Cures. Saving Lives. This is an important and inclusive mission that encompasses all children around the world, which means that this ongoing mission requires each and every one of us to achieve it. That's why several community members have come together to create a community-driven fundraising initiative known as 'Toon-Up the World' to raise money for all kinds of causes. Through this team effort, over $35,000 have been fundraised for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Wanna know the best part? Anyone from the Toontown community can get involved and set up their own fundraising campaigns in a matter of minutes. With more campaigns created, we can spread more awareness, garner more donations, and create an even larger impact as a collective unit. The Toontown community has already been putting in the work to create a significant contribution for causes such as St. Jude, and we have no plans of stopping anytime soon!
4. How can readers get involved with supporting St. Jude?
- You can learn more about St. Jude Children's Research Hospital at stjude.org, but if you do want to get involved and learn more about the PLAY LIVE initiative, then head on over to playlive.stjude.org to learn more and create your own fundraising campaign on the Tiltify platform! You can either create an individual campaign, or you can join a team campaign such as 'Toon-Up the World'! St. Jude PLAY LIVE is a year-round fundraising initiative, so you can actually fundraise at any time throughout the entire year. With that said, fundraisers from all over the world tend to fundraise at-large during the Prize Season that takes place annually during the month of May. The Prize Season consists of incentives for fundraisers that unlock designated amounts of dollars raised for St. Jude, and it runs until May 31st. You can view those specific details on the St. Jude PLAY LIVE website. If you're thinking about getting involved with fundraising for St. Jude, then do it! It's easy for people to feel intimidated by other fundraisers that raise immense amount of dollars, so please know that every single fundraiser truly matters regardless of how much you raise. Did you raise $30 for your campaign? Congratulations, you just provided an entire day of meals for a family at St. Jude! Any amount raised truly has a tremendous impact for the kids of St. Jude, so whether you donate to an ongoing campaign or create your own, I encourage the Toontown community to get involved and support St. Jude Children's Research Hospital!
Supporting The Cause Further
Efforts have spread far and wide across the Toontown community, with countless individuals raising awareness for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital via PLAY LIVE! Here's a quick breakdown of highlights from the Corporate Clash community, with individual totals raised as of the posting of this article for the 2022 season by members of our Partner Program:
- Bargucci - $1300
- Jake - $170
- Rosie - $240
- ShoomyShamy - $91
- 1stBroz - $21
- itis_iceman - $5
Click HERE to be taken to the Partners page of our website, where you can find more information on where to individually support each of these creator's ongoing fundraisers!
Additionally worth mentioning is Toon-Up The World , a fundraising group run by members of the Toontown community that participates yearly in PLAY LIVE, including some of the creators mentioned above! Last year they raised over $30,000 collectively for St. Jude, reaching #20 in the overall group rankings for last year's season! They are already off to a great start again for 2022, with $5,618.51 raised currently.
Overall, we can't be more proud of the endeavors pursued by content creators and community members alike to help an organization as important as St. Jude. From those hosting the fundraisers, to those donating, or anyone who has simply engaged in any capacity, all support goes a long way in ensuring a brighter future for children in need.
Until next time,