How MR4K Started
MR4K began as a social media-driven fundraising effort by That’s Church blogger Virginia Montanez designed to bring gaming to sick children in medical facilities. Local Microsoft employees heard about the effort and decided to lend their support. The money raised through MR4K campaigns is used to provide Xbox consoles, kiosks, controllers and games to medical facilities chosen by Virginia and her readers. MR4K is now an official extension of the Mario Lemieux Foundation. Learn more about how MR4K started here.
The Mario Lemieux Foundation got involved with this project as an extension of Austin’s Playrooms. Now an official extension of the Mario Lemieux Foundation, MR4K has contributed over 400 XBOX consoles and thousands of games to units at UPMC Children’s Hospital, The Children’s Home of Pittsburgh and Lemieux Family Center, and the pediatric unit at Allegheny General.
On April 25, 2019, the Mario Lemieux Foundation’s Make Room for Kids initiative celebrated 10 years by gifting 60 Xbox One gaming consoles, controllers, ten adaptive controllers for kids of varying physical abilities, games, movies and more to UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. Because of the support for MR4K, nearly every patient room in UPMC Children’s Hospital has a gaming console.
The following locations and units have received a technology makeover, thanks to MR4K:
- 2020 – In the program’s 11th year, we will be upgrading old Xbox 360s in the following units: Oncology (inpatient), Epilepsy and Trauma. Currently the install is on hold.
- 2019 – Surgical, Adolescent Med & Oncology Units at UPMC Children’s Hospital, Pediatric Unit at Allegheny General Hospital
- 2018 – Pediatric and Thoracic Surgery Unit at UPMC Children’s Hospital, Update of the Transplant Unit at UPMC Children’s Hospital
- 2017 – Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at UPMC Children’s Hospital
- 2016 – Patient Unit at UPMC Children’s Hospital
- 2015 – Infusion Center and Pediatric Dialysis Unit at UPMC Children’s Hospital
- 2014 – Cardiology Unit, Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU), and Trauma, Orthopedics and Neurosurgery Unit at UPMC Children’s Hospital
- 2013 – The Children’s Home of Pittsburgh and Lemieux Family Center
- 2012 – Allegheny General Hospital Pediatric In-Patient Unit, Oncology Unit at UPMC Children’s Hospital
- 2011 – Adolescent Medicine Unit at UPMC Children’s Hospital
- 2010 – Transplant Unit at UPMC Children’s Hospital