Featured Big Hearted Gamer: Melissa “Mokinns” Bunch

We support the gamers who play games and volunteer for charity. BigHeartedGamers.com wants to recognize people who support their communities, locally or at large.

What was the game that turned you into a gamer?

“Hands down, Super Mario World. It turned me into a gamer by first turning me into an addict.
I’m glad I’ll never know how many hours I sank into that game….”

What video game charities do you play or volunteer for?

Extra Life with the Children’s Miracle Network!”

 Do you volunteer or support any non-gaming charities?

“Not currently, but I plan on finding a local humane society or veterinary clinic that I can volunteer at and do fundraisers for in the future. I’d also eventually like to focus my efforts on raising awareness about specific diseases to help find cures and ways to improve quality of living. For example, Epidermolysis bullosa (EB) is an illness that really strikes a cord with me.”

What made you decide to play for charity?

“There was never a defining moment – it was more of a constant feeling that I needed to be doing something more with my time. I feel we all need to do our part to give back to the world in one way or another, and when I started researching ways I could do that Extra Life just fell right in as the perfect fit!”

How do you promote your campaigns?

“Right now I live stream to participate, though I have plans to do in-person events with local businesses this year. I play mini games with my stream chat, host giveaways, and make sure to give my viewers and my donors recognition for their time and generosity. Many of my streams are themed, and I’ll be doing different challenges when I reach certain fundraising goals this year as well…though I still need to brainstorm what shenanigans I’ll be doing.”

What are some of your most rewarding experiences in gaming for charity?

“Interacting with the people I’ve met has been the most rewarding. I’ve been introduced to some amazing sick or disabled children that have stopped by my streams, and I’ve never been around such a loving and supportive community as I have with the Extra Life participants. There’s nothing more rewarding then seeing, or even just hearing about, the positivity and change you are bringing to the world.”

What is your defining “Big Hearted Gaming” moment?

“It may sound trivial, but I’d say it was the day I registered for Extra Life. If I had never made the decision to put effort into something bigger than myself I would have never had the experiences I’ve had or been able to help someone who needed it. And what better way to do it than through gaming!!”

What are some of your prominent successes or memories?

“I haven’t been involved in this for long, so I don’t have many success memories yet. However, my most exciting success moment was receiving a $6337 donation during my Halloween stream last year. It was so unreal and it truly made me feel like I had helped make a difference.”

Thank you Melissa! You can support Melissa and her endeavors with gaming for charity on her Extra Life participant page.

Are you a Big Hearted Gamer? We would love to hear from you! Strike up a conversation with @bigheartedgamer on Twitter.

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