23 July 2010

Gamers With Heart

The following is cross-posted on my other blog, WNC Heroclix, and I'm forwarding it on behalf of GameHearts:

GameHearts is a public benefit nonprofit organization committed to providing alternative forms of entertainment to adult members of the Kalispell area for the purpose of promoting adult sobriety. The program achieves its directive by providing free and low cost gaming activities in a supervised non-alcoholic, sober environment, along with access to gaming accessories that are provided without cost to the participants. In fact, beginning players can learn and obtain free gaming materials solely for playing.

The primary games that the program uses are tabletop customizable games, such as card and miniature games (CCGs and CMGs), though there is also a strong interest in promoting role playing games (RPGs), as well. GameHearts is working toward the betterment of our region through encouraging alternative gaming activities amongst participants on Friday and Saturday nights, as opposed to frequenting bars and casinos in the area, as well as to inspire decision making and problem solving abilities by teaching and promoting educational and strategic games and activities, using CCGs, CMGs and RPGs as alternative entertainment.

GameHearts does more than promote just sobriety though – it opens up an entirely new facet of the population to these kinds of educational and interactive games. People who would otherwise never know what a game like Magic, for instance, was really about now get free exposure to the game, complete with lessons and a beginning deck. Without an initial investment to begin playing, our participants have little obstacles in playing and interacting with other players. Since GameHearts is primarily a nonprofit, the bulk of our participants eventually find they need to purchase materials we simply do not have, since we are not interested in maintaining a full service retail business. As such, GameHearts also helps boost the overall market shares of the industry by introducing new and motivated players into the environment.

Of course, being a charitable organization, GameHearts is always looking for donations of excess cards, figures, rulebooks and other gaming accessories to use in teaching and promoting these games, though also for any other collectible genre material that can be used for fund raising. Additionally,since gamers are a largely diverse and wide-spread community,the program relies upon inter-community associations and contacts to aid it in advertising the program's existence and its needs to those whom GameHearts' staff alone may not be able to contact. Essentially, any gamer, collector, retailer or manufacturer who may acquire excess materials from these kinds of games represent potential contributors to the program, and it is the program's hope that individuals within the gaming community will help in soliciting the program's efforts to other sources. And the more support the program receives, the greater the service it can provide.

Donations made to the program are tax deductible, since they are made to a community benefit nonprofit organization. The IRS allows for up to 50% of donations fair market value as tax credit. GameHearts assesses the value of each donation and issues receipts upon request for this purpose. The only requirements for donations is that the material not be worn, as these materials are considered “marked” in game play, and that individual donations not exceed $5,000 each (a rule of the IRS, not GameHearts itself). Otherwise, any gaming material is accepted and assessed, regardless of its rarity (ie, commons, uncommons, rares, etc.) or the game from which it comes.

For further information about GameHearts and the service we provide, please feel free to visit the program's website at:  http://GameHearts.org/

Thank you for taking the time to review the GameHearts program, and it is hoped that anyone reading this information will both assist in our efforts and help spread the word to others who may also share an interest in supporting GameHearts' cause.

1 comment:

  1. I don't want to in any way diminish the good work that Ron is doing, but I would like to know if there is anything like this closer to home (Asheville, NC).