Three years ago, it was the start of our new venture, and I was excited to be an integral part of bringing Pandoo Nation to life. We would be providing young kids with an engaging and fun online game, that also allowed them to help people in the real world through Pandoo Foundation. We were making it fun for kids to do good things. This part was clear. Little did I realize, however, that this “do good and have fun” concept would also apply for me, a mid-life adult, in so many ways, as we work to make the idea a reality.
I was reminded of this once again recently at a fundraising dinner in Japan while supporting one of our strategic partners in the field - HOPE International Development Agency. HOPE is based out of Canada and focused on helping the marginalized poor in countries around the world, including parts of Southeast Asia like Cambodia, the Philippines and more. Their causes will also be featured and unlocked by kids who play Pandoo Nation.
In September 2015, we had worked with HOPE in Singapore through an inaugural program we dubbed the Pandoo Nation #GameForHOPE. You can read more about it here. Successfully improving their fundraising numbers and bringing a little extra excitement and fun to their dinner gala, HOPE decided to bring #GameForHOPE to their other fundraisers in Japan, Hong Kong and the US.
The first of these events took place in Nagoya, Japan on March 11, 2016. A small, three-person Pandoo Nation team from Singapore and Cebu worked closely with HOPE volunteers and staff there to bring #GameForHOPE to life at their 15th annual dinner gala.
Tables competed for points represented by Pandoo-themed poker chips by playing darts, putt-putt golf, the Pandoo Nation rescue camp online mini-game, origami competitions and more. The “buzz” in the room was palpable. Even more importantly for HOPE, it was a record fundraising year that allowed them to implement important education initiatives at the Pamulaan Center for Indigenous People in the Philippines.
Being a part of this important initiative for HOPE was personally rewarding. The fact that I could have a genuinely good time while doing it was even better. Doing good and having fun - what a concept!