Local game store devotes full day of profit to Haiti relief

In the wake of the devastating earthquake in Haiti, an Ashland business rushed to help.

On Friday, Funagain Games devoted all profits to AmeriCares, a non-profit organization that provides medical and emergency aid.

"We started talking about this on Wednesday," Funagain Operations Manager Nick Medinger said. "We just picked today because that's the soonest we could do it."

The store spread the word about the fundraising drive through messages on Facebook, Twitter, and their customer e-mail database, as well as signs in the store.

"We're getting the same response that we'd normally get during the peak of the Christmas season, which is great," Medinger said.

"Our average order size is larger than it usually is," he added, clarifying that Friday's average order size is about double what is normal for the store.

Medinger attributes part of this success to new titles.

"We get new games at least 2-3 times a week," he said while packing an order including the new game Shipyard to New York. Medinger said the vast majority of their sales are online, and included all sales occurring in store and online from midnight to midnight eastern standard time.

This fundraising drive isn't the first time Funagain has given back. In 2005, the game store devoted profits to helping victims of the tsunami in East Asia. The store also launched a grant program about 18 months ago that devotes three $100 grants each month to schools and libraries, community organizations, and overseas military organizations.

Medinger said the store chose to donate to AmeriCares because the organization has low overhead costs and they specialize in disaster relief.

Although Funagain's drive ended at 9 p.m. last night, those interested in helping with the relief effort can still donate directly to the organization at www.AmeriCares.org.

Medinger said the store is just doing what it can to help.

"It's not very difficult for us to do something like this," Medinger said. "We're just trying to do what one tiny game company in Southern Oregon can do."

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