Online gaming is one of the largest and most connected communities in the world, and now some of the biggest gaming stars are using their collective reach to get their fans involved in a great cause: the ‘CausePlay IRL’ charity fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
Gaming influencers like Dr. Starting September 1, Lupo and Myth are joining the campaign, which aims to raise $1 million in September, Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
The campaign will feature dozens of streamers, influencers and celebrities – who together have more than 300 million followers – to simultaneously raise money through daily live streams and social media posts, who will rally their supporters to donate and raise money for St. Jude. All funds will go toward costs incurred by families affected by children undergoing cancer treatment, including food, clothing, housing and more.
In addition to the campaign, a live-action short film will premiere on the YouTube channel “IRL Bros” to continue promoting the fundraiser. The short film “CausePlay IRL Fortnite” stars gamers Dr. Lupo and Myth, plus actor Luka Sabbat.
dr. One of the greatest gamers in the world, Lupo previously set up St. Jude’s fundraising efforts through a single creator when he raised $2.3 million in just 24 hours during a gaming livestream in 2020. In all, Dr. Lupo made over $10 million for St. Jude.
In addition to Dr. Lupo, Myth and Sabbat include AtomicMari, Brizzy Voices, Mutex, Arab, Alanah Pearce, SanchoWest, Jonna Mae, Kara Corvus, Faze HighSky and Yaya Han talent involved in the campaign.
“I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again — being part of something bigger than yourself, supporting a cause like St. Jude, and leading by example is incredibly rewarding,” said Dr. Lupo to Variety.
The gamer says that the Fortnite community has the potential to be incredibly powerful in its fundraising efforts because of its passion.
The campaign is produced by IRL Productions and HMBL House, raising funds on the Tiltify platform.
Wes Johnson of IRL Productions got the idea for the campaign after he started working with St. Jude in 2018 when he was first invited to visit young cancer patients and play games. It was after that first visit that he was inspired to make the Fortnite short film, which was produced in late 2019 and during the pandemic. An avid gamer since childhood, Johnson says gaming has helped many of the children’s recovery, especially during the coronavirus pandemic, which was even more isolating than the normal treatment process.
“Hospitals have been flooded and overrun during the pandemic. As cancer patients, these children are most at risk for infection from something as devastating as COVID-19,” said Johnson, who is himself a prominent gaming influencer with more than 350,000 Instagram followers. “From what I’ve been told and from what I’ve seen, gaming is big on the St. Jude Campus. It can be used to help with pain relief, be a great stress reliever and help children, who need to stay isolated, keep in touch with their friends.”
Johnson says Fortnite is often played in the halls of St. Jude, but his team hopes to expand to more titles in their future endeavors.
When Johnson got the idea to make a charity film and campaign, he teamed up with his longtime friend Brett Claywell, an actor from “One Tree Hill” and “One Life To Live” who is now the founder of HMBL and co-founder of Tiltify, the world’s first live streaming crowdfunding platform.
“After seeing the effort and talent that Wes and his team have put into this short film, I felt compelled to do what I could to return the favor and make his vision a reality,” says Claywell, who has worked on previous charitable projects. with Johnson. “Wes and all of the talent involved in ‘CausePlay IRL’ are some of the most inspiring creators in the gaming community, and we were honored to serve this campaign.”
“We’ve been awestruck at how the gaming community has grown over the past few years and the impact they’re having on a cultural level, and we’re so grateful to our friends in that,” said Richard C. Shadyac, President and CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “Even more than that, I’m especially encouraged at how this community is truly invested in cause and giving – and their impressive philanthropic impact is showcased by supporters such as WesIRL and Dr. Lupo, and partners like Tiltify. We are so grateful that this community allows St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to continue to accelerate its research and provide life-saving treatments to children around the world with cancer and other catastrophic diseases.”
Learn more about the fundraiser here and watch the fundraiser trailer below:
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