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Featured Image: OC Board Supervisor Lisa Bartlett (center left) on March 8 presents a proclamation honoring GameChanger Charity founder and CEO Jim Carol (center right) for outstanding lifetime achievement in community service and global impact. Photo: Courtesy of Jim Carol
By Breeana Greenberg
It will take a while for GameChanger Charity CEO Jim Carol’s retirement from the nonprofit to “sink in.”
Fifteen years after founding the Dana Point-based organization, Carol received a proclamation from the Orange County Board of Supervisors, recognizing his outstanding lifetime achievement in community service and the global impact his foundation has made.
“The words in the proclamation summed up a lifetime of work, and it was humbling,” Carol wrote in an email.
Carol established GameChanger Charity in 2007, when his son, Taylor Carol, was diagnosed with leukemia.
During Taylor’s five-year battle with leukemia, he was often isolated in his hospital room. Videogames were a form of escape, a way to keep his mind active and a way to keep him connected with other kids.
As his son found comfort and connection in video games, the elder Carol made it his mission to provide other hospitalized kids with access to games, movies and streaming content that provides relief from their pain and isolation, which worsened significantly under COVID-19.
Bringing his experience from co-founding a global tech firm, PacketVideo, Carol developed the GameChanger Private Network to bring even more content to hospitals and their patients along with the donated gaming consoles, controllers, and software.
The organization has grown to help 225 pediatric hospitals globally, 25,000 kids and 6,500 caregivers across several continents. Locally, the foundation has donated gifts to area hospitals including Children’s Health of Orange County (CHOC), Rady’s Children’s Hospital and UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital.
On March 8, representatives from CHOC and OC Board Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, the District 5 representative, gathered along with GameChanger Charity board members to recognize Carol’s achievement.
“The community leaders who joined us … at the OC Hall of Administration awarding of the proclamation have all been part of a ‘Conspiracy of Good,’ ” Carol wrote in his email. “All of us have worked together for years behind the scenes to help the children of Orange County and beyond.”
To learn more about GameChanger Charity or to donate, go to gamechangercharity.org.
Breeana Greenberg is the city reporter for the Dana Point Times. She graduated from Chapman University with a bachelor of arts degree in English. Before joining Picket Fence Media, she worked as a freelance reporter with the Laguna Beach Independent. Breeana can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org