I have literally "Been there, done that, got the t-shirt" for Extra Life since its inception in 2008.
2008 was a difficult time for gamers. Jack Thompson was still relevant, and dancing in the blood of every spree killing, blaming it on video games. Leland Yee, when he wasn't busy trying to pass gun control laws while simultaneously helping his buddies in the Chinese Mafia obtain all sorts of illegal firearms, was attempting to pass bills restricting video games in California.
Out of all this bad attention, one of of the positives was a group of gamers from the SarcasticGamer community who decided to start a movement. They didn't know it would be a movement at the time, they just wanted to show that gamers can do good, and figured that the best way would be to raise some money for their local childrens' hospital, Texas Children's.
That first year raised about $302,000.
Eight years later, they've raised over $9,000,000 and become part of the Children's Miracle Network, supporting hospitals all around the world.
After a few years off, I'm happy to be back and participating again this year. It's going to be a fun time.