And while playing games all afternoon might sound like a waste of time, these students were doing it for a worthy cause.
“As they played games they went and asked for donations. The money just came flowing in,” said Amador Ramirez, club sponsor at CBC. “We raised about $300.”
On Friday, several of the club members carried bags of toys inside the Rainbow Room of Child Protective Services.
Adam Kadlec, president of the computer club, said that about a dozen gamers were inside the student union building Dec. 4 playing for the cause.
“It was kind of like a marathon where people get sponsored by the mile they run,” he said. “Well, we got sponsored by the hour that we played.”
“It was hard work,” Kadlec joked,
“...especially with the weather going on outside.”
The idea to donate toys to the Rainbow Room was that of Misty Boyd, club activities coordinator.
“We were trying to figure out a good charity — maybe something that gets overlooked during the holidays,” Kadlec said. “I think the children in CPS and the children in the hands of the state get overlooked.
“A lot of times the donations are clothes or jackets. But the real important thing is to let these kids have a game or toy for Christmas.
“We want these kids — the ones who are not having a real good year right now — to have a fun Christmas.”
Kelli Glover, with the investigations division of Child Protective Services, was ecstatic when the students carried in bag after bag of toys Friday afternoon. “I was shocked I did not know this was happening. I feel such greatness that these young individuals who are in college would take time out of their lives to help children and families in need. That is a big gift to us.”
Many of the people she deals with barely make it through the year on their limited income and Christmas time doesn’t make it easier.
“We have a lot of families calling in asking for gifts and help,” Glover added. “They are struggling to pay their rent bills and light bills and it is hard for them to go out and purchase other items.”
While calling Glover a gamer is a stretch, she does appreciate the activity. “Now I love video games. I do have a GameCube at home. I know when I was a young I liked Nintendo. I actually scraped all of my money together when I was a kid to buy a Nintendo.”
So knowing that the money for the toys came from students playing games made it more special. I think that is great,” she said.
“It makes it even better when you are having fun while doing it.”