PHILADELPHIA (September 22, 2022) – September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation is teaming up with Comcast Business to bring joy to children battling cancer, as well as all patients in children’s hospitals, through the power of gaming. To spread awareness for this important cause, the two companies have partnered with Esports infrastructure company Nerd Street to host the 2022 Dunkin' Connecting Joy Gaming Tournament on Saturday, September 24th. Gamers and patients alike can sign-up for the tournament on Nerd Street’s tournaments page.
Pediatric patients often face loneliness and the feeling of isolation from their peers, family, and friends due to long-term and overnight hospitalizations. Launched in 2021, the Dunkin’ Connecting Joy program brings joy to patients at children’s hospitals through the power of virtual programming, including video gaming, that provides an outlet for them to work on cognitive skills, gain a sense of mastery and control, and offer positive distractions that help them better cope with hospitalization. Gaming has shown to be a critical tool in improving a child’s hospital experience and overall healing process.
“Hospital stays can be a stressful experience for kids and teens, so we want this tournament to give them a way to express themselves, connect with kids going through similar challenges, and simply have fun. The power of play and activities like gaming are invaluable for patients and have such a positive impact on their mental and physical health,” said April McGonnigal, Director of the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation.
The national tournament will take place at all eight of Nerd Street’s Localhost gaming and esports facilities nationwide, but gamers at home are invited to compete virtually by registering at nerdstreet.com/events/dunkin-joy-in-childhood-foundation-2022-09-24-1. As part of the event, participants can choose to donate an optional entry fee with all proceeds benefitting the Foundation’s Dunkin’ Connecting Joy program.
For those looking to spectate and follow the action, the tournament will be live-streamed on Nerd Street’s Twitch Channel at twitch.tv/nerdstreet. Viewers can tune in for live updates on the leaderboard, gamers’ streams, and an in-depth story on the Dunkin’ Connecting Joy program and how it has impacted patient lives.
All children’s hospitals across the country are invited to participate in this one-of-a-kind virtual tournament which brings the power of gaming directly to patients. Two of the Dunkin’ Connecting Joy partner hospitals, St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital in Tampa, FL, and Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital in New Haven, CT, also participated in a pre-tournament bootcamp on August 30th, where representatives from Nerd Street and professional Esports gamers visited each hospital and teach patients tips and tricks of the game.
In addition to supporting the tournament, Comcast Business donated gaming “GO Karts” to each hospital to aid in the continued play after the bootcamp. The “GO Karts” are built specifically for hospitals and consist of portable video game kiosks that provide patients who may be unable to leave their hospital beds with an opportunity to play and compete.
Since its inception in 2006, the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation has granted more than $40 million to national and local nonprofits. In 2022 alone, the Foundation has awarded 115 grants to hospitals totaling more than $2.3 million to help bring joy to kids battling illness. Recently, the Foundation announced an additional $600,000 in Dunkin’ Connecting Joy gaming grants to children’s hospitals across the country as part of its $1 Million commitment to the program. Children’s hospitals can apply for grant funding for the Dunkin’ Connecting Joy program at www.joyinchildhoodfoundation.org/what-we-do/connectingjoy.
About the Dunkin’® Joy in Childhood Foundation®
The Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation, the charitable foundation supported by Dunkin’, provides the simple joys of childhood to kids battling hunger or illness. The Foundation partners with food banks, children’s hospitals and nonprofit organizations to fund joyful environments and joyful experiences for kids when they need it most. Since 2006, the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation has granted more than $40 million to hundreds of national and local charities across the country thanks to the generosity of its franchisees, guests, vendor partners and employees. For more information, please visit www.bringjoy.org.
Founded in 1950, Dunkin' is America's favorite all-day, everyday stop for coffee and baked goods. Dunkin' is a market leader in the hot regular/decaf/flavored coffee, iced regular/decaf/flavored coffee, donut, bagel and muffin categories. Dunkin' has earned a No. 1 ranking for customer loyalty in the coffee category for 16 years running. The company has more than 12,600 restaurants in 40 countries worldwide. Dunkin' is part of the Inspire Brands family of restaurants. For more information, visit www.DunkinDonuts.com.