Gamers Donate $1 Million Toward Nepal Relief

(From left to right) Santa Barbara-based Bungie gamers Eddie Moreno, Raul Aguirre, and Ian Clark present the check for more than $1 million to Direct Relief CEO Thomas Tighe
Courtesy Photo

Last Thursday, Bungie, the Seattle-based video game developer that created Halo, Destiny, and other fan favorites, presented Direct Relief with a check for more than $1 million that will go towards Nepal recovery efforts.

After the devastating earthquake last month that flattened entire villages and killed nearly 9,000 people, more than 50,000 of Bungie’s players donated towards Nepal relief by purchasing special t-shirts and accessories for their in-game characters. “As a gamer, we spend our time pretending to save the world,” said Eddie Moreno, a Santa Barbara resident who participated in the Bungie campaign. “It’s good to get an opportunity to save an actual part of the world through giving.”

Funds were raised through sales of t-shirts like this one.

So far, Direct Relief has sent more than 119,000 pounds of medical supplies to Nepali aid groups. The Goleta-based organization is now prepping more emergency shipments that will go out next week.

“The Bungie community’s amazing support will translate immediately and directly into help for people in Nepal who experienced a tremendous blow, are in a very difficult and more vulnerable situation now as monsoon season nears, and also have a long, tough road ahead,” said Direct Relief CEO Thomas Tighe. “Every penny will be spent to help strengthen essential health services that were needed before the earthquakes.

Though Bungie is a new donor to Direct Relief, it has a history of charitable giving that dates back to Hurricane Katrina. Their executives reported that the Nepal campaign was their most successful.

“We really hope that we get to have another opportunity like this again for a much more positive thing rather than just doing it for an emergency,” said Raul Aguirre, a Destiny gamer who was on-hand last Thursday to present the check. “To all the fellow gamers out there, if you’ve donated, it means a lot.”


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