Moving from a "have not" to a "have" and watching things become exponentially easier as life and career progressed gave me the perspective that I should be making things easier for others even as the effort made life a little harder for me. Part of what kept me motivated through the 18 days downing energy drinks as fast as calculus was the motivation to one day leave behind an heir who didn't have to work as hard; part of what keeps me from taking my hard-earned, but unfairly gained, advantage and living a life of excess is the motivation to one day leave behind a society that doesn't have to work as hard as my heir.
The Republican Party recently passed a tax bill that is bad for America, but good for some Americans. As one of those Americans, I had to figure out how I was going to use that benefit: Purchase a new computer? Pay down the $14,000 in student loan debt my wife and I have? Go on a small vacation to Alaska?
Ultimately, we decided against all of these options, preferring to reinvest the benefit into the people and communities that will almost certainly be robbed to pay for it. In doing so, I set out to begin a three-part journey into identifying the most efficient, progressive, and beneficial charities, lobbying organizations, and political action committees that are taking on this fight for us.
Back in July, I embarked on a mission to save kids through video games through an activity known as Extra Life. I raised money to support my local Children's Miracle Network Hospital (Lebonheur in Memphis) treats thousands of children each year, regardless of their family's ability to pay. These kids are facing scary stuff like cancer, cystic fibrosis, and injuries from accidents to name just a few.
On November 2nd, 2013, I'll be participating in this huge worldwide celebration of the social impact of gamers like me and it's my sincere hope that you'll find it in your heart to support me with a monthly pledge or one-time gift that will go directly to my hospital.
I aimed to raise $400 by November 2nd, and I fell short ($205), but given that this was my first year on the campaign, I can't complain about the outcome. I won't be broadcasting my gaming marathon live, but you can expect to see the after effects November 15-16th as I attempt to come home from work, sit through my online class's weekly meeting, and then immediately jump into a twenty four hour game-a-thon.
My game of choice: Borderlands 2. I already have a siren, so what class should I become intimately familiar with over a twenty-four hour period? The Gunzerker, The Assassin, The Commando, or the Pyscho?