Twitch has been on fire lately.  With integration into both next-gen platforms and their already-established presence for PC and eSports, they are clearly the destination for streaming.  Well, they are using their powers for good and have teamed up with several charities to raise a staggering $8+ million dollars on their platform!  Charities such as Extra Life, American Cancer Society, and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals are just some of the great causes Twitch is helping support with this effort.  Here’s a bit from them and how you can help:

Among the hundreds of charity broadcasts every year on Twitch, Extra Life is one of the most prominent. As a sponsor and promoter, Twitch is designating a spot on its homepage directory to Extra Life 2013. While the directory is normally reserved for specific games, there will be an Extra Life 2013 icon so visitors can easily find all broadcasters who are raising funds for the event. To date, more than 4,500 Twitch broadcasters have signed up to support Extra Life 2013 with that number expected to double by November 2.

“Twitch is changing lives by connecting kids in need with gamers who care,” said Jeromy Adams, Founder and Director, Extra Life. “What better community to answer the call for help for kids than one that has never lost touch with their inner child. Twitch is game-changing.”

While Extra Life raises money for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, there are other marquee organizations that have benefitted from Twitch’s philanthropic-minded gamers. This includes American Cancer Society, Habitat for Humanity, Doctors Without Borders, and American Red Cross, among many others. Some of the groups and events that have successfully leveraged Twitch for humanitarian causes include Speed Demos Archive’s SDA Charity Marathons, AtheneLIVE’s Gaming For Good, LoadingReadyRun’s Desert Bus For Hope, AbleGamers and KBMOD.

SDA Charity Marathons are produced by Speed Demos Archive, a site dedicated to the art of speed running. Speed running – which involves racing through a game as fast as possible – has developed an avid following with Speed Demos Archive’s Awesome Games Done Quick 2013 marathon recently raising $448,423 for the Prevent Cancer Foundation.

“Broadcasting on Twitch has given us average 27,000 concurrent viewers during Awesome Games Done Quick and Summer Games Done Quick, our two marathons this year,” said Mike Uyama, Marathon Coordinator for Speed Demos Archive. “The two events combined have raised over $700,000 for charity.”

KBMOD’s approach to raising money for Extra Life involved gathering a small group of well-known Twitch broadcasters and making prize giveaways a part of their marathon session. Since 2011, the KBMOD community has raised $105,421 with a goal of doubling it this year. Their efforts exemplify how even a small group with a strategic approach can be successful in the charity broadcasting space.

Representing the world’s largest community for gamers with disabilities is AbleGamers, a public nonprofit charity that enables gamers with disabilities to play video games with special assistive technology. Their fundraising efforts purchases equipment for children, adults and veterans who need special adaptations to play mainstream video games. More than $40,000 has been raised this year for the AbleGamers Charity on Twitch which they credit to the generous and loving gamer community

“When you look at the causes the Twitch community rallies behind, it covers the entire spectrum,” said Justin Wong, Director of Partnerships, Twitch. “Whether it’s for natural disaster relief, autism, cancer, a friend—or even a stranger—in need, there is a game-playing humanitarian making a difference.”

Whether or not you believe in Karma, God, Nature, or something in between, taking care of our fellow humans is what makes us good people, and not just during the holidays.  If you can spare it, help out.  If you can’t afford it, help spread the word.  The best reward is knowing that you are helping make a difference.