Who said playing games can’t serve a meaningful purpose?
By playing a series of online games, kids in McCormick Middle School’s Boys and Girls Club raised money to donate more than $200 worth of household goods to Well-Help and Lorain’s Haven Center homeless shelter.
The games are played through Clever Crazes, a Cincinatti-based nonprofit that offers crossword puzzles and other brain teasers covering math, science, coding, and engineering. Students can win gift cards and accumulate points that are exchanged for cash prizes for their schools.
Representatives from Well-Help stopped at the club’s meeting on March 16 to pick up the goods.
According to Alanna Begley, a youth development professional at McCormick’s Boys and Girls Club, students gave their own presentations on how to spend their winnings.
In total, the club has earned more than $700.
“We expected them to plan a party for themselves,” Begley said. “But right away the kids said they wanted to find the best way to help. They wanted to donate more than $200 but there’s a big banquet coming up for them at the end of the year too.”
Begley said McCormick students Lamerra Whitman and Richard Lyons were instrumental in putting the donation plan together.
“I know that my childhood wasn’t the best and I know my mom’s childhood wasn’t the best,” said Whitman. “I thought about that and about how a lot of kids need things that I needed when I was little. There’s kids out there who need to depend on someone and I wanted us to be that someone.”
“All the kids out there need certain things,” Lyons said. “I didn’t always have everything like that, so when they don’t have homes and other important parts of life we all need to help out.”
Whitman said she and other club members were caught off guard by how much money they earning through the games.
“We thought it was just going to be a bunch of little prizes,” she said. “It all started to add up. I’ve actually won three gift cards for Wal-Mart and two hoodies. The games are a lot of the same things we’re learning in school, just shown in a more fun way. My favorite is the coding games. You have to try and make a path through a maze by telling your character to turn up, down, right, or left.”
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.