Zach Wigal
January 3, 2023
Estimated Read Time: 5 min.

Zach Wigal

Changemaker: Zach Wigal, Gamers Outreach


In hospitals around the world, children receiving care are often left isolated and scared while going through a process that disrupts their early childhood development. Gamers Outreach is a nonprofit organization determined to restore hospitalized children’s normalcy through games and play.

Game On

14 years ago, while in high school, Gamers Outreach Founder Zach Wigal organized a Halo 2 LAN (local area network) tournament that would change his life. After receiving over 300 registrants, the event was shut down 3 days before launch by a cop who believed kids shouldn’t be playing violent games. Regardless of the pushback, Wigal was determined to prove the positive impacts of gaming.

In 2008, Gamers for Giving was founded as a small tournament to raise money for charities and local hospitals. As the tournament gained traction, Gamers Outreach was born and has since impacted the lives of children across the nation.

The Power Of Play

Due to pandemic restrictions in hospitals, children are even more isolated from family and social interactions. For Gamers Outreach, the pandemic has shifted its focus towards its volunteer programs that aid in accessible portable gaming centers.

Project GO Kart, a program providing medical-grade kiosks that can be wheeled from room to room, is especially in high demand. This program allows children access to entertainment without having to leave their hospital room. The success of Project GO Kart can be greatly attributed to Gamers Outreach’s amazing partnerships. Specifically, ASUS has donated over 200+ monitors towards the program and Eastern Michigan University alumnus have donated funds to support the upkeep of the kiosks.

Player 2, Gamers Outreach’s successful volunteer program that pairs gamers with children, has seen the biggest changes with COVID-19. Due to strict hospital protocols, Gamers Outreach volunteers are unable to enter the hospitals to help service their GO Karts or solve any technical issues. The hope is that as pandemic restrictions lift, hospital restrictions will lift as well and Player 2 volunteers can get back in there. “We have a line of volunteers who want to get back to help and get back and play,” said Gamers Outreach Marketing Manager, Samantha Robertell.

Leveling Up

Though unable to host its annual Gamers for Giving Marathon at Eastern Michigan University, the virtual love and support for Gamers Outreach surpassed all expectations. With a goal of raising $500,000 for its hospital charity programs, Gamers Outreach nearly doubled its goal with donations almost to $1 million. “We were blown away by the amount of people who wanted to help. We had over 200 communities raising money for our cause.”

Determined to turn hospitals into LAN centers, Zach recently test-launched Gamers Outreach’s newest program, Portal. It is a HIPAA-compliant computer that can be implemented in a hospital room for the sole purpose of gaming. A patient can log on and play any game they’d like. Once they are finished, they are no longer logged into the system and everything is wiped. It is a secure way for online play in hospitals that allows kids access to the digital world. “If the internet is there, why can’t people play?”

To learn more about Gamers Outreach or connect with Zach, visit

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