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+Magpayo%27s+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+%241%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 $1,000, 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.

Lauren Jung

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, Magpayo said.

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

“I am very proud and excited about Daniel and Meagan’s project,” said ASB co-adviser Mike Paris, who first found out about Games for Good through an email sent for an interview with The Accolade. “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. 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, Kimbrell said.

“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,” Paris 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 Magpayo said he noticed from reading online articles that more people were in need of finding alternative forms of entertainment besides streaming movies on Netflix and playing video games on the Nintendo Switch. 

This sparked senior Magpayo’s idea to sell board 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 — in late September of 2020.

“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 — I knew I had to do it.” she said. “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. Raising money is really the least we can do to support those who need it.”

Although only one person responded to help him, Magpayo said he felt grateful that someone was willing to partner with him on this endeavor and understood that his other friends couldn’t help for different reasons such as the pandemic or their college applications.

“I was really grateful,” he said. “I did reach out to a few people, but I didn’t expect a lot of people to help — especially since people can’t or choose not to go outside for health-related reasons — so the fact that even one person could help me was great.”

Even with only two of them working together, Kimbrell truly displayed her passion for this project, Magpayo said. In fact, she was the one who thought of the name, “Games for Good.”

“I wanted a simple but catchy name that basically explains the purpose of our fundraiser in a few words, so I started brainstorming,” Kimbrell said. “I first came up with names like ‘Fun for Funds,’ but I ended up choosing ‘Games for Good’ because it best expressed that the fundraising would be used to truly help others.”

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 in 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 knew of other platforms like Craigslist, 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. To pick up his order, Magpayo drove to a Starbucks 40 minutes away and paid the seller with his own money. Then, other people around Magpayo and Kimbrell, such as their family and friends, also showed their generosity by donating their own party games, which were in an OK condition.

Using the approximately 45 parlour games they’ve bought and collected, Magpayo and Kimbrell started going door to door around their Fullerton neighborhood while wearing their masks to sell as many as they can. Since they live near each other, they went around together from 4-9 p.m. on 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. Magpayo said he remembered reading somewhere that people buy the large because the medium makes it seem like a good deal, which is why Kimbrell and he used three prices set apart to make it look like getting three board games for $18 was the best deal.

However, more people just donated money in support of their cause instead of actually buying the board games, Magpayo said.

Most people paid with cash, but they also accepted money through mobile payment services like Venmo or PayPal, Magpayo said.

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 donate all that money through an organization’s website that Magpayo had researched after they obtained the board games but before they started the selling process. 

“I wanted to help them out, so 100% of proceeds goes straight to them, and nothing goes into my own pocket,” Magpayo said.

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, Kimbrell said.

The two made all of their donations anonymously through the Second Harvest Food Bank website in the hopes of the money going to residents in Fullerton who are financially impacted by the pandemic, Magpayo said.

“Every day thousands of men, women and children look to Second Harvest to provide food for their next meal,” according to an online post from the Second Harvest Food Bank about its volunteers and donors. “Without your donations, we’d have to turn them away. We are so grateful for your generosity as we work to close the hunger gap in our community.”

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.

“We decided to put a pause to our project because we already reached our first goal of $1,000 and COVID-19 has gotten a lot more serious,” Kimbrell said. “Before reaching our new goal of $10,000, I think we should put safety as our first priority.”

Even as they are taking a short break, their parents feel extremely proud of both of them, Magpayo said.

“I feel extremely proud that he has found some way to give back to the community, which is in line with how he has grown up and shared his compassion for not only his family but for the community abroad,” said Joseph Magpayo — Daniel Magpayo’s father — who was the inspiration for the “Games for Good” project. “I have always tried to model the best ideals embodied in our faith, which centers around helping those most in need, and I am happy that Daniel has exhibited the same kind of passion for helping others in our community.”

Kimbrell’s mother, Maria Balmas, shares similar sentiments.

“I was definitely surprised by how much they made since I was only expecting a few hundred bucks,” Balmas said. “I’m very proud to have a daughter that takes initiative and uses her life to better others’ [lives].”

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

“I felt very accomplished,” Magpayo said. “It’s cliché, but showing that I could make a change really gave me hope. Even if my endeavors only helped one person, that’s still one less person starving.”