Games, Geeks, and a Paintbrush: Fundraising to Fight COVID-19

It was March of 2020, and at Worldbuilders we were just starting to hit our stride with new team members. We were also getting a glimpse, along with the rest of the world, of the months of pandemic hardship ahead of us.

Zay, our Director of Operations, brought a proposal to a meeting – she had a contact at Project HOPE, and was wondering if we could do a fundraiser for them. We weren’t all familiar with this organization, but our research indicated they were legit, and doing good work.

It would be tricky – we basically only had two weeks of time to set things up to launch in April, and this particular team had never done a “regular” Worldbuilders fundraiser – with video streams of live D&D games and the like..

But we saw a need, we thought we could help, and most of all, we trusted in our community to show up and help raise money, specifically for PPE and medical training both in the U.S. and globally.

We Raised $45K for Project Hope in One Week

A drop in the bucket, you might say – but it was a pretty important bucket, and with enough drops, Project HOPE has managed to do some amazing work over the past year and a half:

Project HOPE has delivered over 17.5 million pieces of PPE and over 5,000 pieces of medical equipment, hygiene, and sanitation supplies, trained more than 116,000 health workers and frontline personnel, and reached more than 150 countries worldwide, including the U.S.

That last part was important – not that we ever mind helping out people and causes outside the U.S. (hey, have you met Heifer?) but Pat Rothfuss, our founder, could see that this pandemic was going to be hitting close to home – so it was essential that this fundraiser also have an impact here in the U.S.A.

And it has:

  • millions of pieces of PPE have been delivered across the U.S., including Arizona, California, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, and Texas.
  • medical volunteers were activated to help provide staff surge capacity and mobile testing in hard-hit areas including Houston; Chicago; Navajo Nation; and Montgomery County, Maryland.
  • Project HOPE volunteers in the U.S. have provided care to over 3,200 patients in ICUs, surge units, and COVID-19 units as well as tested over 21,800 people for COVID-19.
  • Free online training for doctors and nurses to become Master Trainers in infection prevention and control is now available on
  • Project HOPE has supported the Puerto Rico Science, Technology & Research Institute to implement its first Project ECHO series on COVID-19 and other topics for First Responders.

Julia Maddalina Keeps the Giving Going

Supporter Profile: Julia Maddalina Paints for HOPE | Project HOPEYou already know that she’s one of our favorite artists, especially for the Auri print she created for Worldbuilders. Julia also began painting portraits of workers on the front line of fighting COVID-19, and compiled them into one glorious poster that we now sell on the store – with all profits going to Project HOPE. Just last month we sent the organization over $1000, from the poster that Julia lets us print and distribute on their behalf.

You can keep the giving going too. This is only one example of how Worldbuilders works to take the power of geeks – skills, money, time, enthusiasm – and using them to help build a better world. When you donate today you will be a part of that work – and we thank you!