A win-win for all: Student-inspired ‘Games for Good’ raises $1,000 for COVID-19-related financially strapped families

Seniors+Daniel+Magpayo+%28left%29+and+Meagan+Kimbrell+sit+in+front+of+Magpayos+car+parked+in+the+driveway+of+his+neighborhood.+Behind+them+are+some+of+the+board+games+they+sold+to+neighbors+Oct.+21.+Called+%E2%80%9CGames+for+Good%2C%E2%80%9D+the+campaign+raised+%2C000%2C+which+will+be+or+has+already+been%3F+donated+to+Second+Harvest+Food+Bank+of+Orange+County+to+support+families+in+financial+need+because+of+the+coronavirus+crisis.

Image used with permission from Daniel Magpayo.

Seniors Daniel Magpayo (left) and Meagan Kimbrell sit in front of Magpayo’s car parked in the driveway of his neighborhood. Behind them are some of the board games they sold to neighbors Oct. 21. Called “Games for Good,” the campaign raised ,000, which will be or has already been? donated to Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County to support families in financial need because of the coronavirus crisis.

By Lauren Jung, Sunny Hills High School

Seniors Daniel Magpayo and Meagan Kimbrell wanted their Fullerton neighbors to take $200 for passing Go or head to the chapel to “get married” or reach Candy Castle for the win.

And since the coronavirus pandemic has forced many to remain at home with a lot more time on their hands, Magpayo and Kimbrell figured their community members would want to buy some board games to play with to overcome the boredom of the day.

That’s one of the main reasons for starting a fundraising campaign called “Games for Good.”

Magpayo said he came up with the idea last semester to sell Monopoly, The Game of Life and Candy Land to name a few to raise $1,000 for people who had lost their jobs or faced financial difficulties to provide for their families because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“I try to do my best to convince people to buy board games by offering them enticing deals and explaining to them why we do what we do,” Magpayo said. “Oftentimes, people are willing to help and donate to our cause.”

He said his dad’s example also inspired him to find a way to support financially strapped families.

“As I was growing up, I was always very fortunate to have stable economic resources, so I’m very thankful for my dad,” Magpayo said. “I know that there are others out there who aren’t as lucky as me to be born into this kind of situation, so I wanted to help.”

As of Jan. 7, Magpayo and Kimbrell have reached their goal to raise over $1,000. And now, they have decided to create another challenge: to raise $10,000.

Since Magpayo and Kimbrell are also part of the school’s Associated Student Body [ASB] — Magpayo being the president and Kimbrell serving as elections  commissioner — their philanthropic efforts have not gone unnoticed.

“I am very proud and excited about Daniel and Meagan’s project,” ASB co-adviser Mike Paris said. “It’s not surprising for them to want to do something to benefit the community; it’s the type of people that they are.”

Being a part of the ASB factored into Magpayo and Kimbrell wanting to do something like this, Paris said. Since the majority of students decided to stay home to learn instead of attending live instruction classes, they weren’t able to plan public events on campus because of the coronavirus pandemic, so they turned to other ways to serve their community.

“I think it is another example of how so many people at Sunny Hills want to do something in some way to help us all get through these times,” he said.

I know that there are others out there who aren’t as lucky as me to be born into this kind of situation, so I wanted to help.”

— Daniel Magpayo

THE GAME OF LIFE AND MORE

When quarantine began as a result of the coronavirus pandemic last March, a multitude of necessary items sold out including toilet paper, hand sanitizer, thermometers and webcams, but people also rushed to buy sources of entertainment, including board games.

This sparked senior Magpayo’s idea to sell parlor games to raise money for people struggling financially after losing their jobs as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I wanted to do something to help them out —  not from a place of pity —  but because I know how fortunate I am and how there are those less fortunate out there,” he said.

Once the senior thought of this, he said he texted his desire to help those in need to some of his friends — including Kimbrell.

“When he first told me this, I felt so excited to be able to contribute in such a positive way that agreeing to join him wasn’t even a question,” she said. “I knew I had to do it.”

To publicize their fundraising campaign, Magpayo and Kimbrell turned to social media and posted a story on Instagram with the details of their plan; to their surprise, many of their peers supported them and reposted screenshots of their story on their own platforms to promote Games for Good.

“The first night, on Oct. 21, I sent it to a bunch of people, and I was all over everyone’s Instagram stories,” he said. “It was really so crazy.”

LET THE GAMES BEGIN

At first, Magpayo said he bought the board games from Facebook Marketplace, which is a feature on Facebook that allows sellers to upload pictures of items they wish to sell and buyers to negotiate a price, because they were in pretty good condition. Although he doesn’t use Facebook regularly, he chose to use Marketplace because it seemed reliable and easy to use, Magpayo said.

After some discussion, he said the seller offered him a discount and sold him 27 games for $65 after hearing about his plan. Other people around them, such as their family and friends, also showed their generosity by donating their own party games, which were in an okay condition.

Using all the parlour games they’ve bought and collected, Magpayo and Kimbrell went door to door around their Fullerton neighborhood while wearing their masks to sell as many as they can. Since they live near each other, the two scheduled their rounds for between 4 and 9 p.m. every other day.

They charged $10 for one game, $15 for two and $18 for three — regardless of which game — to increase their sales margin.

I am very proud and excited about Daniel and Meagan’s project. It’s not surprising for them to want to do something to benefit the community; it’s the type of people that they are.”

— Mike Paris

Then, they donated all that money through an organization’s website that Magpayo had researched before they started selling the games.

“I found a local organization [online] called Second Harvest [Food Bank of Orange County], and the money goes to [help feed] residents in Fullerton who are impacted by the pandemic,” Magpayo said. “I wanted to help them out, so 100% of proceeds goes straight to [Second Harvest], and nothing goes into my own pocket.”

With the games they sold, Magpayo and Kimbrell raised a total of around $1,100 as of Jan. 7, surpassing their first goal of raising $1,000 by the start of 2021.

GAME OVER? 

Although Magpayo and Kimbrell want to see if they can hit a new fundraising goal this semester, the two say they are taking a break from Games for Good because the coronavirus has gotten more serious in Orange County, and safety is their first priority.

Ultimately, this project served as a way for the two seniors to act on their passion for helping those in need.

“I’m very passionate about helping people who don’t have a steady source of income because I think a lot of us don’t realize how COVID-19 has affected so many families unless we personally are one of them,” Kimbrell said. “Raising money is really the least we can do to support those who need it.”

This story was originally published on The Accolade on January 20, 2021.