Nick's Power of Play
Bringing fun (and video games!) to kids affected by cancer and other childhood diseases
Recently featured in the Delaware News Journal, US News, The Washington Post, and many more! Check out our press page for links to stories and interviews!
Everyone has a different childhood, but no matter what a child may have to deal with, all kids deserve to be able to have fun and play!
My organization is about teens bringing the power of play (particularly video games) to kids who are affected by cancer or other childhood illnesses or disorders.
Nick's Power of Play's goal is to bring joy--and the joy of gaming--to as many kids as we can. While this goal is focused on bringing joy and fun to the kids, our volunteers have found the kids are the ones who enrich our lives and bring us joy.
Join us and find out!
The Organization’s Mission
I love video games. I lost my dad to cancer when I was six, but for the entire time we were together, video games brought us closer, and they provided us with many memories that I will never forget. They gave comfort and excitement to my father and me during our family’s experience with cancer. And, while he was sick and after he passed, people (family, friends, even strangers) surrounded us with love. Most memorable for me were the people who played video games with me--I had lost my video game partner, but people stepped in to make sure I could still find joy in gaming.
While sitting at home one day (playing video games as a matter of fact), I thought to myself, “What if there are kids who can’t play video games?” After a little bit of brainstorming, I came up with the idea to bring the video games to the people who either don’t have access to them or don't have people to play video games with them! Since cancer has touched my life in ways that other people haven’t experienced, I want to bring these games to kids in hospitals with cancer. Since starting, I realized I could also help kids who have siblings or parents with cancer, or kids with other childhood illnesses.
I intend to help these kids by trying to get their minds off of diagnoses, treatment, and worries for a little. For me, video games have always been an outlet from the real world.
I would like to help bring happiness to kids who are in very difficult situations.
I believe that it could give these children a little hope, just like it did for my father and me.
The goal of my organization is to bring a smile to someone’s face, to someone who hasn’t had a reason to smile in a long time. My objective is to help at least one person, one kid, to forget about their troubles for even just 5 minutes. Although it started just being about the joy of gaming, since beginning this organization, I've gotten to speak to children going through childhood illnesses and have learned that one of the hardest things about being in treatment is isolation. Kids are often in isolation rooms, and have very few ways to connect to each other.
Gaming can provide not only fun, but real human connections.
No, video games do not cure any disease, but as my dad always used to say, “Laughter is the best medicine!” So if I can bring smiles to children’s faces, and bring laughter into their hospital rooms, I will do whatever it takes to make that happen.
What We Do? We Play!
Although we started off with the idea of playing games with kids in the hospital, we've grown our organization to include the following three facets:
In-person Play: Our volunteers go to the hospital (bringing our own gaming systems and games sometimes if they are needed). We then meet with the kids that want to play and play video games with them.
Nick's Playroom: Together with AI Dupont/Nemours Hospital for Children, we have been developing a way for children to connect to other children in the hospital, play games online and communicate. It is our plan to take this prototype to other hospitals across the country.
NPOP Buddy System: Other organizations, such as ChaiLifeline, have put us into contact with kids across the country. We play video games online one-on-one with these kids, and Liz Scott (from Alex's Lemonade Stand) gave us an awesome idea to set up a buddy system, so the same volunteers will play the same kids. We are in the process of putting this into action (while all the while, still playing with the kids we've been connected with!).