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Seven Year Extra Life Veteran Chris Jones Reveals His Fundraising Secrets

Participating in Extra Life since 2014, Chris Jones has raised more than $14,000 USD for the kids at Norton Children’s Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky. That incredible accomplishment has helped countless families at his local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, and he has continued to outdo himself every year with the help of his team, Quilt City Heroes. He recently broke the $5,000 USD mark on his quest to reach the fundraising goal of $6,000 USD.

Chris has been an invaluable part of the community. Over the years, he has attended Extra Life United events and been an integral part of the Extra Life stream team. He’s become known for his use of incentives to get his community to donate and simply having the boldness to ask for donations.

We reached out to Chris to talk about his achievement, how he did it, and how others can follow in his footsteps.

Jack Gardner: You’ve been a part of Extra Life for the past 7 years – what sparked your involvement in raising money for the kids?

Chris Jones: I got involved in Extra Life because of my best friend, Derek Ratliff, aka, HusbandDerek. It didn’t take him long to convince me with the pitch being “You know how people have people donate per mile of a marathon? We do that, but with games!” It combined two of my passions: gaming and helping others, especially kids!

JG: Since 2014 you’ve managed to raise a staggering $14,000 for Norton Children’s. How did you make that happen? 

CJ: The biggest thing I did was as simple as asking family, friends, and my employer. I think that’s something I was scared to do when I first started, but you never know who you may get to donate toward being a hero for the kids if you don’t ask.

JG: You work with the Quilt City Heroes team to up your fundraising. Can you talk a bit about how you joined the team and the significance of the name? 

CJ: HusbandDerek, his wife Hannah, aka HannieTravels, aka Extra Life Mom, and I got it kicked off my second year. We recruited some of our friends in the area to join our team. The significance in the name is that we are from the Quilt City capital of the world, Paducah, KY.

JG: What strategies have you learned during your time fundraising that you think other people could benefit from?

CJ: Ask people and be passionate about your presentation. If you really want to be effective, you’ve got to mean what you say and say what you mean. Also, don’t be afraid to check with local businesses if they have ways to help with your fundraising efforts. We’ve had some that have let us set up areas in their locations that have information about Extra Life.

JG: This year alone, you’ve raised over $5,000 and you’re nearing your goal of $6,000! How does that make you feel and how do you plan to top that achievement next year?

CJ: To be honest, it feels really good to be able to push myself this year to achieve that goal (the DX Racer chair as an incentive helped). I usually try to make my goal a few hundred dollars over my previous total, so it felt good to get past last year’s plus some!

JG: You’ve also competed in Extra Life United: Online Edition! What did you get out of that experience?

CJ: So this would have been my first year to go in person, but due to the state of the world, it didn’t happen. I’m glad for the online version this year and the people I got to meet. I got to spend some late nights on calls with people and just talk about various things and help each other. I still talk to many of these people today and can’t wait to meet in person!

JG: What are you excited about in gaming right now?

CJ: Well, I recently got involved in A Link to the Past Randomizer, so getting better in that has been my life recently. However, I’m getting ready to get back into World of Warcraft because of the new Shadowlands expansion that was just released. Ready to get back on my characters and experience the new story and dungeons!

JG: How can Extra Life, the organization and the community, better support people like yourself both right now and in the years to come

CJ: I have enjoyed the various random incentives throughout the year to help push the fundraising. I love this community and how supportive we are of each other. It would be nice to better recognize those who have achieved various milestone levels, especially those who do year-round fundraising.

Check out Chris’s Extra Life fundraising page and the Quilt City Heroes team for ways to support them in 2020. You can find Chris on Twitter, Instagram and on Twitch!

Don’t forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!