The goal with the foundation is to create an environment where I can partner with the pediatric wards of hospitals and businesses to work together creating projects with the kids. The way that it will work is that I negotiate a partnership between the two entities. The businesses will provide financing and the hospitals will provide access. I will go in to the hospitals and work directly with the kids to get them excited about the project and work with them developing a project that they would like to build. Then I will flush out the structure and design of the piece back in the studio. Next comes the critical element. I will bring participants from the businesses into the hospital to actually build the project side by side with the kids and to hand out LEGO sets for all the kids to keep. I think it will create a fantastic opportunity for everyone involved. The kids get to take part in project that will become a permanent part of hospital, and the businesses get a chance to give back to the community.
Epic Mario creates an opportunity for me generate get the word out about my larger aims of starting a foundation while tapping into my community at large and the large LEGO community for support in creating a noteworthy project. There are are couple of ways that Epic Mario will give back to the community. A portion of the net proceeds will get funneled back into Kickstarter to support projects in the Portland area and the areas that my contributors are from. After the project travels for a year, several panels from the project will be donated to the annual auction at Child's Play. Child's Play is a charity that was started by Mike and Jerry at http://Penny-Arcade.com. "Child's Play seeks to improve the lives of children in hospitals around the world through the kindness and generosity of the video game industry and the power of play." They raised over $3.5M in contributions last year. I hope to someday develop my foundation something of that scope, or to partner with them to create a LEGO centric wing of their organization. The conventions that Epic Mario will be displayed at also help contribute to their local communities as well. Many are run by Non-Profit organizations like Bricklandia, Inc. which puts on Bricks Cascade here in Portland. Lots of these organizations run programs to foster the building spirit with kids of all ages.