Giving Back With Pokemon Go: 5 Random Acts of Kindness
If you’re anybody, you are probably playing Pokémon GO right now. Or at least have the app up and loaded while you’re reading this. In merely two weeks’ time, it has become the most popular game ever. Even better: Pokémon GO has been linked to helping relieve stress, anxiety, and depression by encouraging players to go outside, exercise, enjoy their city, and socialize, which releases endorphins and makes people happy!
Now, people are finding other creative ways to use Pokémon GO in order to make peoples’ lives better. Take a look at some of the great ways people are using the app to help others:
Lures and PokeStops at Children’s Hospitals
A PokeStop is a checkpoint placed at geographical and monumental locations to give players items and encourage them to travel to exciting places. As you know, you can leave a Lure at a PokeStop to attract wild Pokémon to that location. Lots of businesses have PokeStops, too! But did you know that places like hospitals or clinics have them, too? For instance, Johns Hopkins Hospital in MD encourages its staff who use the app to leave Lures at their PokeStops regularly to help the patients who have to stay for days or weeks enjoy themselves a little more than they would otherwise.
Imagine a child who has a life-long disease who has to make repeated stays at the local children’s hospital all through their childhood, with murky prospects of improvement. You could make a small difference in that patient’s childhood, setting up a Lure at their PokeStop’s location, so they can have moments of fun and bliss in between the testing and waiting! Many people on the Internet have already made headlines by doing just that, and the children appreciate it.
Catch Pokemon and Help Homeless Pets at Animal Shelters
Pets need love and care, too, especially the ones left behind! Many animal shelters welcome volunteers who offer to take their resident dogs on walks to give them some exercise and sunshine. Many gracious people are taking advantage of this activity by booting up the Pokémon GO app and catching the virtual companions while they walk and play with the real-life companions.
At the Muncie Animal Shelter in IN, for instance, all you have to do is walk in and tell them that you’re there for “the Pokémon dogs,” and they’ll set you up with furry friends for a spell to join you for a brief adventure! You should try it; not only has Pokémon GO been shown to help with daily stresses, but caring for a fluffy critter does so even more!
Pokémon GO and Charity Miles
Have you ever heard of Charity Miles? It’s a cool little app that donates money to a charity of your choosing for every mile you walk, run, or bicycle. Now, I know what most of you are thinking; you’re not big walkers or runners, and this app was most likely designed for competitors in marathons and the like. But now that you are participating in regularly planned adventures in Pokémon GO, you too can put forth a decent sum toward helping the greater good on each trek! And this isn’t just a single marathon event; with Pokémon GO lasting as long as you enjoy it, each mile really will count!
Mobile Pokémon Centers (MPC), a Pokémon Charitable Group
It’s only been a couple of weeks and already people are finding new ways to incorporate other aspects of the Pokémon universe into the real world. A handful of people have started a group that dress up as “Pokémon Professors” and, with donations from fans and sponsorship from local businesses and city ordinances, set up temporary shop at local PokeStops to provide bottled water, sunscreen, news about specials and offers from local businesses, helpful hints about the app and the Pokémon in it, as well as general camaraderie.
They are even working toward achieving non-profit organization status! “Right now as we are in a very early stage,” says Matt Elliott, founder of MPC, “…discussing options of what kind of charities to support. Currently we are discussing Animal Shelters, Animal Rights organizations and Children’s Hospitals. I have also reached out to Nintendo about a possible sponsorship in order to further this cause.” If you are interested in getting involved or even setting up a chapter in your state, you should check out their Facebook page! Imagine, a Pokémon charity – how cool is that!
Raleigh Typhoon 2016
I know all you local Raleigh-ites will appreciate this one. Every year, local non-profit Activate Good takes over Downtown Raleigh to host a grand scavenger hunt/puzzle expedition known as the Raleigh Typhoon. Winners receive prizes for their efforts and all proceeds from admission go toward helping local charities. But this year, the ‘Typhoon will host a Pokémon Capture competition via the Pokémon GO app! The registrant(s) who captures the most will receive a special prize at the end of the event! So if you are looking for ways to help others while still having fun on the GO, give some of these random acts of kindness a try! And don’t forget to register for the Raleigh Typhoon on July 30th for your chance for local Pokémon trainer glory!