Over the past week OneBookShelf, the company behind online RPG and gaming giants DriveThruRPG and RPGNow (and several other online marketplaces), has taken donations from gamers to help with the relief efforts in Haiti. The charity to which the company will be donating its collection is Doctors Without Borders. At the time of the writing of this article, over $137,000 has been donated by gamers and geeks all over the world.
The company is matching every $5 and $10 donation given to them, and for making a $20 donation gamers are thanked with a large bundle of PDFs and music provided by the publishers who sell products on OneBookShelf's websites. With so much giving going towards Haiti, it is very comforting and refreshing to be a part of a larger community that is willing to give so much in a time of need. While the online effort is a worldwide collection of donations, it is apparent that local gamers have given as well, with word of donations coming from all over middle Tennessee towards the "Gamers Help Haiti" fund.
In an overwhelming response from gamers, on January 20 when DriveThruRPG and RPGNow began offering the $20 donation bundle, their servers were overloaded. Both websites had to be taken down for maintenance for a short time while OneBookShelf prepared for more traffic than they ever expected. But the site was back up within hours from the initial onslaught of traffic, and the donations have grown at an astronomical rate since then.
The donations for Gamers Help Haiti are continuing through the end of January, and even now thousands of gamers have responded to the call for aid. If you have not given yet, it is a great way to help those in need and to help prove that the gaming community is willing to help others.