Microsoft Makes a Difference

Each and every one of us has the power to make a difference. Some people donate their time as they don’t have extra money. Other people donate their money as they don’t have extra time. Both of these factors are equally important when it comes to charities, and Microsoft has decided to go the financial route by digging into their deep pocketbook to help sick children.

xbox 360 kiosk

Microsoft announced yesterday that they have teamed up with the Companions in Courage Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting children and families who are overcoming life-threatening obstacles, in an effort to supply “hundreds of Xbox 360 game kiosks to playrooms in children’s hospitals across the United States, intended to provide a respite for young patients and be a catalyst for fun. In addition to select games, movies and television content, the Xbox 360 kiosks will provide access to a private network that allows hospitalized children across the country to play games and chat in a safety-enhanced environment over Xbox LIVE, the world’s largest social network connected to television.”

Following a similar mission as Child’s Play, I can attest that these programs do truly make a difference. You may think it is simply a gaming console in a different environment but you couldn’t be farther from the truth. I have gone through the experience of having a child in an extended stay in the pediatric intensive care unit. I have seen my son lay in a hospital bed, connected by wires to too many machines to count, tubes going in and out of various parts of his body, terrified because he has no idea what is going on regardless of how gently you try to explain it to him, scared to move because of everything attached to him, simply laying there in bed confused, scared, and sad for days on end. Anything that can take their mind off of their situation is a blessing. Anything that can make them roll over just slightly so they can see the screen is a blessing. Anything that can mentally give them a respite from their traumatizing ordeal is a blessing. It’s not just a console in that environment. As any parent who has had a child stay in the hospital before can attest to, it is so much more than that.

As I’ve read the comments on other websites that have already carried this story, I have been surprised by the amount of people that are belittling this contribution and criticizing Microsoft for making what they see as an apparent public relations move. All I have to say is who the fuck cares about that. Whether it was made for public relations or not, it does not lessen the impact it will have on these children’s experiences during a very difficult time. Regardless of the motives, a difference will be made thanks to the generosity of Microsoft. And in my book, that is all that matters.

Good for you Microsoft, good for you. From a parent who has been there, I thank you.

Read the official press release.

11 Responses to Microsoft Makes a Difference

  1. momohine says:

    Beautifully written post, Angel. Cheers for Microsoft for making a difference.

  2. soulofaqua says:

    Though I agree this is a very kindred decision of Microsoft that does make a great difference as I myself have laid in the hospital wired to different machine when I had my brain surgery and I was glad that the NES my brother bought for that occasion was able to get plugged into te TV’s. But even I think Microsoft knows FAR to well that this can get them some good publicity and that they don’t do it with ALL their heart.
    I’m still glad for the children as long as they get their distraction it does not matter.

  3. E says:

    Angel …

    I agree with you that this is a wonderful idea and that it can make an incredible amount of difference. I am not a mother but I was once one of those children and I wonder how my experience would have been back in the day if there were all kinds of gaming experiences.

    But I also agree that it is a publicity move especially in the wake of everything going on with Microsoft these days and it is their attempt to make themselves seem better in such a charitable light.

    I am not against the CONCEPT. I’m against the FOUNDATION behind the CONCEPT.

    It will help so many children in so many ways – but first and foremost it helps Microsoft.

  4. Qix says:

    True, it is basically advertising, but, the money spent advertising in this way, ALSO helps out a lot of kids. Its a hell of a lot better than putting more of them out there in mall stores or spending the money on TV advertising.

  5. bs angel says:

    I fully realize my opinion is not a popular one, but it comes from my own experience. I worked at a nonprofit agency for several years with abused and neglected children. Many people have the opinion that when large corporations give money to organizations like that, it is so they are seen in a favorable light.

    While that very well be true, I have seen the work it takes behind the scenes to get projects like this done. Often the nonprofit organizations are very tight financially. The people running them do not make loads of money in most cases. Often times they work for a salary that is less than satisfactory because of their desire to make a difference. That is where the big corporations come in.

    Organizations like that are kept afloat by the people that have large pocketbooks, that make lots of money, and that have an excessive amount available for disposable purposes. While many people look at that as a negative thing, nonprofits would not be able to do the work they do without that money. What some people see as an evil because there is possibly a motive behind it, is an absolute necessity to do the charitable work.

    I see value in all aspects of nonprofits, from people who invest their time to the large corporations that donate the money. It can’t be done without both of those things, and I refuse to think lesser than of either as they are both essential. Whether someone is “advertising” or not, it does not lessen the impact on those children’s’ experiences. And again, that is the only thing that matters in my book. I realize this topic has many shades of gray but in this particular case, I stay focused only on the black and white of it.

  6. soulofaqua says:

    I find this extra information you have gaven very usefull in the understanding of your article and why you take the more positive approach to it.
    By looking at it not from just the children and Microsoft’s side but also the side of the foundation it brings with it a better appreciation for what Microsoft has done and what all other big corporations do.
    So I thank you gracefully for this article and the deeper explanation in reply to our comments.

  7. bs angel says:

    Aaahhh, … thanks. That was kind of you to come back and say. Sometimes it seems easier to accept a differing opinion if you know where they are coming from. And your perspective is a unique one as well, coming from someone that could have benefited greatly from a program like this. It sounds like your brother was the charitable organization in that case. :)

  8. Helping the kids is what matters and the kids will remember their favorite game played but will also remember the nurse’s smile, the voluntary with flowers and the friends and family that came to visit. Besides, it is up to us parents to balance ourselves and our kids in the maze of commerce. We aren’t machines programmed to purchase whatever we come into contact with throughout our lives.

    Thanks to all companies who give so others may have.

  9. Dan says:

    I honestly hate people who look at generosity and dismiss it as trying to get good publicity. Who cares! They deserve the good publicity when they do something as nice as this!

  10. Ray says:

    Did anyone else notice the words above those screens?

    “The Lion’s Den”




  11. setters says:

    I’m with Dan here – who cares why Microsoft/Starbucks/other global corp do these things? The point is they are & like BS says it means that people in need are benefiting!!

    I mean none of us have to buy Micrisift products, we could all take a stand & avoid them but if we have then at least we know that they are putting something back into commutunites.

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