Microsoft: Do the right thing and give Xbox 360 Gamerooms to four hospitals

Did you know Microsoft has teamed up with the Children’s Miracle Network to install three fully-equipped Xbox 360 gamerooms at three lucky hospitals? These hospitals will be chosen by an online vote that started weeks ago and is set to wrap up just before Midnight tomorrow. Currently there are four hospitals racing for the three spots: University of Iowa Children’s Hospital, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Hurley Medical Center, and Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

You have to admit that it’s a pretty rad promotion aimed at helping sick kids. These gamerooms are valued at $10,000 apiece and Microsoft is donating three of them. Plus, each time you vote for a hospital (and you can do it up to 10 times a day), you’re entered into a drawing to win an Xbox 360 yourself. Major props on the contest, Microsoft, but how about stepping up and donating just one more gameroom?

I have been participating in the online vote from the very beginning because Hurley Medical Center in Flint, MI is not only where I was born, but more recently, my two kids as well. The non-profit hospital is in the heart of one of the most disparaged cities in America, but has managed to stay one of the very best children’s hospitals in the region without the aid of outside funding. In fact, it’s the most northern-based Level One trauma and burn unit hospital in the state. Needless to say, this hospital sees and treats the sickest of Michigan’s sick kids. It’s had my vote since the start.

But I’m sure the other three hospitals in the running are amazing and well deserving too. All four of the local communities have supported the cause too. The Flint Journal, Iowa City’s Press Citizen, central Arkansas Fox 16, and Mississippi’s Clarion Ledger all have news articles posted in the last 24 hours reminding its readers to go vote.

As of writing the leader, University of Iowa Children’s Hosptial, has 1,902,590 votes followed closely by Hurley with 1,863,900, Arkansas Children’s Hospital with 1,862,000, and Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children with 1,859,200. Anyone that has been voting daily like I have will tell you that the top four spots change often. 24 hours ago, Iowa was in fourth place, but in the usual fashion has leap-frogged to the head of the line.

It’s a shame that kids in all of 152 eligible hospitals will not be able to have kick-ass gamerooms to assist in their recovery. But these four hospitals have been on the top from the very beginning and they each deserve to win. This contest has no doubt brought local awareness to the children’s hospital, which is a win all by itself, but a gameroom is so much more. As it stands right now though, one hospital’s children will lose out.

Losing is a part of life, but please, Microsoft, step up to the plate and do the right thing. Don’t let these kids down. Donate gamerooms to the top four hospitals instead of the top three. They all deserve it.

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