On April 25, 2019, the Mario Lemieux Foundation's Make Room for Kids (MR4K) initiative celebrated 10 years by gifting 60 Xbox One gaming consoles, controllers, ten adaptive controllers for kids of varying physical abilities, games, movies and more to UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. Because of the support for MR4K, nearly every patient room in UPMC Children's Hospital has a gaming console.

MR4K began as a social media-driven fundraising effort by That’s Church blogger Virginia Montanez designed to bring gaming to sick children in medical facilities.  Local Microsoft employees heard about the effort and decided to lend their support. The money raised through MR4K campaigns is used to provide Xbox consoles, kiosks, controllers and games to medical facilities chosen by Virginia and her readers. MR4K is now an official extension of the Mario Lemieux Foundation. Learn more about how MR4K started here.

To date, with the support of blog readers, local Microsoft employees, Genre’s Kids with Cancer Fund and other generous donations, MR4K has contributed over 400 XBOX consoles and thousands of games to units in Children’s Hospital, as well as the entirety of The Children’s Home of Pittsburgh and Lemieux Family Center and the pediatric unit at Allegheny General.

The Mario Lemieux Foundation got involved with this project as an extension of Austin’s Playrooms, a program where the Lemieux Foundation establishes playrooms in medical facilities.

Microsoft’s Pittsburgh office has been one of the driving forces in Make Room for Kids since inception. Their goal has been improving the quality of stay and in some cases care, through technology. Pittsburgh employees and employees from across the country have joined in on the fundraising efforts and contribute roughly half of the money raised for Make Room for Kids. In addition, Microsoft employees install the devices throughout patient units and playrooms in Children’s Hospital. This project is part of the roughly $125 million raised by employee donations and corporate donations in support of nonprofits and schools around the world. 

To find out more information about Make Room for Kids or make a donation, click here.

How Did Make Room for Kids Get Started?

Latest Technology Installation

Surgical, Adolescent Med & Oncology Units at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh

On April 25, 2019, patient units at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh received a multimedia makeover thanks to Make Room for Kids.  More than 60 new Xbox One video game consoles were installed in the Surgical, Adolescent Med & Oncology Units at UPMC Children’s, plus controllers, hundreds of games, movies and more.  With this install, almost every patient room at Children's Hospital now has a gaming console.

MR4K's Impact

The following locations and units have received a technology makeover from Make Room for Kids:

  • 2019 – Surgical, Adolescent Med & Oncology Units at UPMC Children's Hospital
  • 2019 Pediatric Unit at Allegheny General Hospital
  • 2018 Pediatric and Thoracic Surgery Unit at UPMC Children's Hospital
  • 2018  Update of the Transplant Unit at UPMC Children's Hospital - replacing old XBox 360 units with new XBox Ones
  • 2017 – Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at UPMC Children’s Hospital
  • 2016 – Patient Unit at UPMC Children’s Hospital
  • 2015 – Infusion Center and Pediatric Dialysis Unit at UPMC Children’s Hospital
  • 2014 – Cardiology Unit, Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU), and Trauma, Orthopedics and Neurosurgery Unit at UPMC Children’s Hospital
  • 2013 – The Children’s Home of Pittsburgh and Lemieux Family Center
  • 2012 – Allegheny General Hospital Pediatric In-Patient Unit
  • 2012 – Oncology Unit at UPMC Children’s Hospital
  • 2011 – Adolescent Medicine Unit at UPMC Children’s Hospital
  • 2010 – Transplant Unit at UPMC Children’s Hospital