Steven Spohn achieved a goal this week that he has been chasing for nearly a year. He raised over a million dollars AbleGamers, a charity that works to improve access to games and connect people with disabilities with peer support and adaptive gaming technology. Spohn has been its CEO for 15 years.
He says the mission of the charity is to give people with disabilities access to “that sense of independence and that sense of search or excitement or relaxation wherever you go to help you mentally cope with difficult times”.
Spohn has several progressive diseases that affect his activities. He launched a fundraising campaign at Spawn Together in September last year to celebrate his 40th anniversary. He says he hopes more money for AbleGamers would allow it to continue working because he will eventually lose more mobility or the ability to speak or write. “I just want to make sure that when I can’t do these things that everything goes on as well as I can,” he says.
Today is my 40th birthday!
Because of my 39th birthday, I became friends @Rock
To celebrate this milestone, I am going to raise $ 1,000,000 for charity.
But I need your help. pic.twitter.com/bu1t9KKRg1
– Steven Spohn (Spawn) (@stevenspohn) September 15, 2020
Although Spohn’s goal was a million dollars, he didn’t think he would achieve it. “I thought,” hey, you know, I’m collecting a couple of thousand, maybe $ 100,000. It’s great, we spend money to hire a new peer advisor and then we’re good, ”he says. “Well, it constantly led to new opportunities.”
Streamman Ben “DrLupo” Lupo announced during the November period GlitchCon that Twitch donated a million dollars To AbleGamers. Spohn was excited, but he decided not to consider Twitch’s donation to his personal goal. He still wanted to raise smaller amounts at a time through his campaign and not just rely on big companies. “I can’t rely on one big company deciding to hand over a million dollars every year,” he says, “there had to be a way where we didn’t have to depend on one CEO to say,‘ you know what, give it to them. “”
Hundreds of streamers helped raise money during the campaign, and Twitch responded to donations of certain amounts. Last week, Kayla “lilsimsie” Sims raised nearly $ 60,000 during her birthday, and Twitch answered $ 35,000. A few days later, Spohn checked the Spawn Together page and understood the total amount had exceeded the target.
We raised $ 95,000 for the ABLEGAMER today
– Kayla (@lilsimsie) August 14, 2021
“I think Spawn Together’s most important thing,” Spohn says, “tried to prove that if people joined together, they could do good and really move the needle together in front of the thing by doing little good things at the same time.”
Spohn says there is still a lot of work to be done. “I’ve definitely grown over the years and I realized that while a million dollars is big, it won’t leave an organization running alone for 20 years. “He says the money will help AbleGamers hire more peer counselors, occupational therapists and other specialists to continue expanding its work.