SIU Communications department host first ever Playing for Pets fundraiser

Tiffany Young | @photographybytiffa

Visitors gather in the SIU Communications Building to play videogames on Thursday, April 7, 2022 in Carbondale, Ill. This event was held by SalukiGames and live streamed on, Twitch, Facebook, and YouTube.

Students and faculty gathered at the Southern Illinois University (SIU) Communications building to take part in the communications department’s first Playing for Pets fundraiser on April 7 and 8 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The proceeds from the event were donated to St. Francis Care animal shelter. Donations were taken online through the Playing for Pets gofundme page or by participants bringing dry pet food to the event.

Justin Young, assistant lecturer and faculty sponsor of the event, said he held playing for pets at another university he worked at and thought it would be a good thing to bring to SIU.


“I think that oftentimes people don’t think about video games as a communal experience,” Young said. “You get together with a group of people and so often video games are meant [to be] super competitive and we really try to kind of dissuade that,” Young said. 

According to Young they originally were going to host the event at SIU three years ago, but, due to COVID-19, they had to hold off. He said the event was a great way to bring people together and support animal shelters.

Young said they chose St. Francis Care because they had a good reputation around Carbondale and they are a no-kill shelter, which means they do not euthanize animals after a certain amount of time.

The video games at the event included Overcook, Tricky Tower, Garfield Kart and other games. For anyone who could not come in and join the fundraiser, the gameplay was live-streamed on Twitch and uploaded to YouTube. 

Jami Allen, one of the organizers for the event said the event attracted a lot of people. 

“I think it definitely played off that it was different from a bake sale or a hot chocolate sale because of the difference and the variety of people that were able to attend,” Allen said.

Allen said having video games as the main theme of the fundraiser attracted 50 students to come in person. 


Allen said as of right now they are not sure if they will be hosting playing for pets again next year.

Jordan Marshall, a second-year student at SIU, said although there are a lot of stray animals running around Carbondale, people still seem to not be aware of how many are out there.

[There are] [stray] dogs around the city and [people] don’t really know that, you can just drive around and have all kinds of pets that are out and about and they’ll get taken to animal shelters and not all of them are as nice as St. Francis where they’re humane,” Marshall said.

Marshall said this event was a good way to spread awareness about animals who need loving homes.

“SIU should host more events like because it’s a lot of fun to do charity events like this, that also bring in technology because most of the times when I see events, it’s just food which is really good of course, but I think it’s more intriguing to be like, Hey, we’re having a video game or something that’s not always seen or heard of,” Marshall said.

Jacob Armstrong, a third-year student said he and his family have made an effort to adopt pets from shelters or take in strays instead of going to pet stores. 

“Adopt, don’t shop,” Armstrong said. “I think it’s much more important to try to focus much more on getting animals that are already here rather than trying to buy from animal stores,” Armstrong said.

Wilbur Moon, a first-year student said the only difference between shelter pets and pets at pet stores is that shelter pets were not shown enough affection.

“At first she was scared because she was abused by her past owner and then they took her to the shelter and then like a week or two later, we picked Roxy up, our rottweiler and she’s like the most loving, caring dog. Shelter dogs are by far very loving if you give them the right care,” Moon said.

Moon said when he got his dog, Roxy, from the shelter it took her a while to warm up to him because she had been abused by her previous owners.

Overall $600 was raised within 3000 hours of live streaming. Assistant to the Editor Janiyah Gaston can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @DEJaniyah. To stay up to date with all your Southern Illinois news follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter.