Operation Lifeboat surpasses goal; raises nearly $115,000 from World of Warships players to support StackUp.org
On March 6, Wargaming issued a call to action to players of its popular online game, World of Warships. Thousands answered the call.
More than 5,000 World of Warships players, the vast majority of them current and former service members, united over the course of five weeks to raise $114,760 to support StackUp.org, a nonprofit that helps service members get through deployments to combat zones and recover from traumatic injuries through the power of video games.
Each time players purchased one of two limited-edition in-game bundles, called Life Line and Life Ring, Wargaming donated the entire proceeds to Stack Up. The campaign, dubbed Operation Lifeboat, sold 5,385 bundles, which included special in-game missions, exclusive items, and permanent power-ups.
Wargaming’s connection with Stack Up doesn’t end with the conclusion of the Operation Lifeboat fundraising campaign. The online game publisher plans to add an in-game button for World of Warships players to connect with a Stack Up counselor at any time.
“This is a difficult time for the world and yet our World of Warships community recognizes the value of what Stack Up provides which is needed now more than ever,” said Artur Plociennik, Regional Publishing Director of World of Warships. “The fact that it only took a few weeks to meet – and exceed – our initial objectives is really gratifying for us.”
“We honestly didn’t know what to expect when we launched this campaign,” Plociennik said. “We just knew that we wanted to do something to support Stack Up, whose mission to support service members dovetails so well with our own values.”
Throughout the campaign, Wargaming and Stack Up teamed up to feature four service members, one for each week during the fundraising period to keep up the momentum. The first was Jeff Stephens, who struggled to make the transition to civilian life after having served through multiple deployments in the U.S. Army. Next up was Chad Fischer, whose brain injury forced him to retire from active duty in 2016 after serving seven years in the U.S. Navy as a missile technician on the USS Ohio. Then there was Rob Ferguson, who currently serves in the U.S. Army and who found camaraderie, commitment and challenge through gaming and Stack Up. Finally, Military Times readers met Chris Kunz, an active duty service member who is one of 13 Stack Up volunteer counselors.
“These four men resonated with our players of World of Warships more than we could have imagined,” Plociennik said. “Their dedication to each other and to their duties was so genuine and heartfelt, that people couldn’t help but connect with them.”
“If you’re struggling, definitely reach out,” Stephens urged in the video. “If you’re a gamer, a veteran, even a civilian, it doesn’t matter. You can always reach out. It’s okay to speak up. You’re not in this alone. No veteran is in this alone. Someone is out there to help you.”