Sci-fi, fantasy, gaming, anime conventions are known for their abundance of interesting characters. Convention attendees, in everyday life, tend toward the unconventional (a sweeping generalization, I know. Let’s go with it).
When I signed up to volunteer at Arkansas Anime Festival (A2F), my excitement grew as the date drew nearer. It was a place where I knew I’d find My People. Those in charge of A2F are a friendly, welcoming bunch, and I love working with them.
What I didn’t expect was to run across a cause that spoke to me. By chance, I was asked to booth-sit for a vendor called Pretty Awesome Gamers (PAG). Always being happy to help, I parked my booty at the table without a clue. Really… gamers, at an anime convention… no stretch to imagine an organization of gamers getting together to nerd out, right?
You know what they say about making assumptions… yep, mption was looking like a donkey.
Because Pretty Awesome Gamers is NOT just about a group of gamers.
They are actually Pretty Awesome Gamers Charity (I missed that last part), and their mission is a pretty awesome one. To make sure I get it right, I’m going to quote it directly from the source:
“We create super heroes! We are a Non Profit organization that awards terminally and chronically ill children full expense paid trips to ComicCons and Gaming Conventions. We supply them costumes to turn them into any character they want to be. Artists create special tailored art for the kids. And the parents get a free quality family time with their kids.”
Kids! Costumes! Conventions!
This is a beautiful cause! The families who have been helped by PAG have been able to make some special memories. For the brief weekend of a Convention visit, these children get to become their favorite characters. The families can experience joy and excitement that can give them a break from the everyday stress of living with a terminally or chronically ill child.
While mercifully, my children have always been healthy, I do know the challenges of caring for a chronically ill family member. It is a blessing when someone cares enough to do something to help ease the stress. Pretty Awesome Gamers is doing just that for the recipient families of the PAG awards.
Pretty Awesome Gamers is a young charity, starting in October 215, and getting their 501(c)3 status in April 2016. A small group with a big heart, they’re on the grow and building some good momentum.
Please, visit their site. Read what they’re about. You can make a donation, and get a T-Shirt with the Pretty Awesome logo on it (seriously, the logo really IS pretty and awesome, a brilliant visual representation – kudos to their graphics designer).
If you know a terminally or chronically ill child, nominate them for a Convention Adventure with Pretty Awesome Gamers!
You can even volunteer, if you feel so moved! There are several ways to get involved with PAG. Being the crafty sort, I have my eye on the costuming and artist options. The Pretty Awesome Gamers Charity offers a cause worthy of support. I’m eager to see what they accomplish.