Inspired by the gaming community’s passion for social good, BCRF recently launched a new partnership with the all-female Twitch broadcasting group, Team Kitty.
Team Kitty streamers shared BCRF’s mission with new audiences around the world—and raised more than $10,000 for BCRF through the stream, which took place from January 23 through World Cancer Day on February 4. Over the course of this marathon fundraising event, the group livestreamed content—from playing video games to hosting conversations (known as IRL streams)—each day.
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Women make up 46 percent of the more than 2.5 billion people worldwide who play video games. Websites like Twitch, a livestreaming platform devoted to gaming, are amassing huge audiences and bringing nonprofits into the fold through charity streams.
Team Kitty is headed up by Kristen “KittyPlays” Valnicek and focuses on empowering women in the gaming community. “We’re a group of incredible, loving, positive, professional women,” Valnicek said.
For Valnicek and several members of Team Kitty, the choice to stream for BCRF was very personal. When Valnicek was 14, her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and successfully completed treatment. Valnicek’s mother remains cancer-free today.
“She was lucky—it was caught early and she was able to get in for surgery right away and then start chemo,” Valnicek told her followers as she kicked off Team Kitty’s charity stream. “Going through that toughened me up as a woman and really made me love and respect my mom so much, watching how hard it was on her body.”
Throughout the two-week event, other streamers, like Kirsty “Psyche” Mawhinney shared their stories of moms, grandmothers, aunts, and others who had been diagnosed. “My mom had breast cancer 10 years ago now,” she told her followers. “She has done a lot to raise money for breast cancer research so it’s very important to me.”
To engage viewers and encourage donations, streamers got creative: They celebrated fundraising milestones with headstands and moonwalks, Warhead-eating, and tears, shared important breast cancer statistics, and even made ribbons in the games they were playing. Viewers donated in honor of family members and entered giveaways for gifts from BCRF partners, including Conair, Razer and Manic Panic.
BCRF and Team Kitty also came together to design exclusive products, including a line of shirts and hoodies and a collection of Popsockets, that all benefit research with every sale.
“What we’re doing today does make a huge difference,” Team Kitty streamer Robin “HiveQueen_” Lee said during her stream. “We know that cancer affects so many of us and we know that we need to step up and make a difference.”
All told, Team Kitty’s charity stream for BCRF reached 14,555 viewers who watched 7,222 hours’ worth of content.
Reflecting on the success of Team Kitty’s stream, Valnicek said she was proud of what the Team Kitty community accomplished.
“Team Kitty started with the goal of bringing women in the gaming space together to create something bigger than themselves,” she said. “It is wonderful to see them and their supportive communities band together to manifest such a large sum for charity and spread positivity.”
Thank you to all of Team Kitty’s streamers who participated and helped be the end of breast cancer: KittyPlays, ItsEmmaElise, Psyche, KaraLynne, Ashaife, Samayyy, HiveQueen_, kellydanielle, Askesienne, Jayyytuck, Sarahmony, Jayyytuck, Lovinurstyle, and TheGreatHayley.
Read more stories about gamers who streamed for BCRF here.
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