tl;dr: Help us help sick kids at Children’s National Medical Center in DC. Donate here.

It’s that time again: summer is quickly fading to fall, the Nats are gearing up for a Postseason run, and our yearly Extra Life marathon benefiting the Children's National Medical Center located in Washington, DC, is just around the corner.

If you’re a new reader to the site this season, or just haven’t seen our previous Extra Life endeavors; Extra Life is a 24-hour video game marathon benefiting Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. We specifically chose all proceeds donated to our campaign to benefit Children’s National Medical Center; where thousands of children are treated 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.

Extra Life began in 2008 as a way of honoring a young lady named Victoria Enmon. Tori’s battle against acute lymphoblastic leukemia inspired the Sarcastic Gamer Community in a way that is difficult to describe. Members sent in video games and bought gifts to keep Tori’s spirits up despite numerous hospital stays and three bouts with the deadly disease. Tragically, Tori passed away in January 2008. Later that year, Extra Life, a 24-hour video game marathon to raise money for the hospital that treated and fought beside Tori, was born. In 2008 and 2009 Extra Life raised a combined $302,000; 100 percent of which went directly to help kids like Tori at the Texas Children’s Hospital.

While thousands of gamers, more than 100 websites, and more than 12,000 donors were happy to support Extra Life, many expressed their desire to raise money to help kids closer to home.

I personally got involved in Extra Life in 2012 just a day before the event and set my goal at $100. On short notice, with generous donations from friends and family I managed to raise $211 by the end of my 24 hour marathon. Last year, Citizens' fifth 24 hour marathon, we raised $1,000 for Children’s National. In five years we've raised a total of over $3,600 for Children's National.

Five years and five Extra Life’s later I am still amazed at just how gratifying it is to be able to raise money for the cause. More importantly the event continues to make me want to do more, to be able to raise more and once I’ve caught up on sleep I’m already eagerly awaiting information about the following year’s event.

On November 4th, 2017, I (along with the rest of the Citizens staff) will again be participating in this huge worldwide celebration of the social impact of gamers of all kinds from video games to board games and tabletop RPG's! It's my sincere hope that you'll find it in your heart to support my efforts with a monthly pledge or one-time gift that will go directly to Children’s National. We are looking break the $1,000 barrier again and honestly, we’d love to blow that goal away; but we can’t do this with YOUR help. There are a few things you can do to help the cause:

– First If you’d like to donate the process is safe, fast, and easy:

  1. Head to the Citizens of Natstown team page,
  2. Select the team member you’d like to sponsor,
  3. Make your donation.

– Second, get the word out. Twitter and Facebook are phenomenal ways to get more people aware. RT's and Shares on Facebook are extremely helpful.

    I also encourage you to learn more about your local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital and to meet some of the kids we’ll be working to help. When you donate, you won’t just be raising money for kids. You’ll be supporting LOCAL kids and their families. Kids right in your own backyard.

    Last year, Extra Life raised more than $9.6 million to save kids, but in 2017 our goals, just like the needs of the kids we serve, are much, much higher.

    Thank you Natstown for caring for our kids!

    © 2016 Citizens of Natstown