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'Extra Life' has gamers raising money for Riley Hospital for Children

Since coming to Indianapolis in 2013, the nonprofit has raised nearly $1 million for Riley Hospital for Children.

INDIANAPOLIS — It's gaming for a good cause. 

“I feel very blessed that I get an opportunity to do something I love and helping make a difference in the world," said Elijah Morris with Extra Life Indianapolis.

It's an official fundraiser for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Here in Indianapolis, the nonprofit benefits Riley Hospital for Children.

“You’re hanging out with friends, you’re playing games, and you’re doing so in a way that’s going to help children get a life-saving procedure or a hospital get medical equipment that they otherwise may not have been able to afford as quickly," Morris said.

“It has helped inspire some of our patients who maybe can’t get out and do a walk-a-thon or can’t go out door to door raising money," said Melissa Sexton, the child life special events supervisor at Riley Hospital for Children. "What they can do, they can play games and they can tell their friends about it. Our patients have even been involved in giving back because it’s something they’re already doing. It meets their passion too, and that’s what’s so unique about Extra Life.” 

Credit: WTHR/John Doran
A screenshot of an anonymous donation made to Extra Life while playing a video game.

It’s not just for gamers and streamers: Extra Life goes offline as well. 

“Before we had our COVID restrictions, the Extra Life guild would come into the hospital and be a part of our child life zone," Sexton said. "They would bring different games to play, and it would span all ages from the youngest playing chutes and ladders and Candyland all the way up to the teenagers who were engaged in video games and computer coding and all of those types of things.” 

“This is a great way to take something I was already doing and turn it to good," said Mark DeHaven with Extra Life Indianapolis. "For those people out there that have family game nights or anything else, it’s the easiest thing to do.”

Extra Life started in Texas 11 years ago and made its way to Indiana in 2013. Since coming here, the nonprofit has raised nearly $1 million for Riley Hospital for Children.

“The money that they raise goes to where we need it the most, so that may change from year to year," Sexton said. "It’s really coming in to help all areas of our hospital.”

“Extra Life is a way that you can turn a hobby into a scenario where you get to help people," Morris said. "You get to be a hero for somebody.” 

Extra Life Indianapolis can use your help! The nonprofit's fundraising goal for 2021 is $160,000. Right now, they've raised about $43,000.

Click here to donate or sign up and start gaming for a good cause.

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