Good Times at Knight Watch Games

What a great beginning to our Sunday Nerd Nights! I think I’m going to have to call them something else, maybe Nerd ‘Noons ūüėõ Nerd Night seems a little silly when the event starts at 2pm in the afternoon, but regardless. We had about 50 people show up, bringing lots of great items for the Texas Burn Survivor Society. We were there¬†playing games until after 10pm! Thanks to everyone who joined us and we’ll be back here on July 24th as part of our month supporting SAMMinistries.

Red Dragon Inn

Red Dragon Inn

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Apples to Apples

La Isla

La Isla

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I think this is X-Wing ūüôā

Kens5 filming at Knight Watch Games!

KENS-5 filming at Knight Watch Games!

Slaughterville

Slaughterville

Donations for TBSS backpacks! Great job, nerds!

Donations for TBSS backpacks! Great job, nerds!

The biggest part of the day¬†for me, aside from getting to play two new games (Slaughterville and Among the Stars), was that KENS-5 showed up to do a short piece on us! Although I look terrified in this video (which I hope will remain available, because I can’t seem to figure out any way to download it), I think I managed to stay on point and get the message out about TBSS. Just ignore the factual errors on the part of the anchor ūüôā They did correct those things by the 10pm broadcast, but the video posted was from the 5:30 news.

Link to Kens5.com

We were thrilled with Knight Watch Games – what a great space and great people. And great dogs! Who I somehow didn’t get any pictures of, but trust me. Fluffy gorgeous sweet HUGE pups. Looking forward to an ongoing relationship with this unique store. Lots of thanks to Brenda and Paraic for allowing us the use of the space, and for just being generally awesome people.

We’ll be back at Geeks Cafe next Friday night to support SAMMinistries and their Back to School program. We’re collecting school supplies and clothes for the kids served by SAMM’s many programs to help end homelessness in San Antonio. See you there!

Good Times at Knight Watch Games2016-11-25T10:59:32-06:00

June Nerd Night, Part One

I’m going to have to think of new ways to distinguish between Nerd Nights! Can’t just call them by their months anymore, with two events. What’s she taking about, you’re asking? Well, now you now have two opportunities to join us for gaming and supporting local charities. We’ll still have the second Friday events at Geeks Cafe. That’s not going anywhere. But now, with the grand opening of Knight Watch Games, we have a second space to play and a new day and time. Fourth Sundays, 2-10pm. Come on out and support a new local business, run by gamers, for gamers. I promise it’s going to be one of the most unique spaces you’ve ever played in. Brenda and Paraic have done an amazing job getting it ready to unveil. The grand opening celebration is this weekend, so stop by and say hello! Mark your calendar to¬†join us next Sunday for Nerd Night Part Two.

Part One was a good time for a great cause! Sue Dodson from the Texas Burn Survivor Society came out and gave a short talk. She told us about some of the things they do to support burn survivors and their families.

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It was great to see so many of you out to game with us and pile up donations for the kids at Camp David! Let’s keep it going throughout the rest of the month of June.

Donations for Camp David

About half the donations collected for Camp David.

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Announcements

The donation page is down but I’m hoping to have it fixed this weekend. As we fully transition to ¬†501(c)(3) status a lot of accounting things have needed to be updated. I’m glad to say we’ll soon have a full profile on Guidestar so that everyone can see where our money goes. Any donations to Nerd Night this month will go directly to paying for our Meetup subscription and would be very much appreciated.

T-shirts! At Sunday Nerd Night I will have signup sheets for those of you interested in a classy Nerd Night shirt. They’ll be $12 and proceeds will go to support our operating expenses, such as the Meetup, web hosting and printing costs.

Join us at Knight Watch Games on the 26th for another great event. Bring backpack-stuffing stuff for the Texas Burn Survivor Society and your own snacks and drinks. River Tree Bistro, a fabulous little restaurant in the same shopping center as Knight Watch, will be opening from 5-8pm to serve dinner.

June Nerd Night, Part One2016-11-25T10:59:33-06:00

May Event for Literacy

An update on our recent event from your special guest host, Keller! (Steph had tickets to The Cure, so you can excuse her for taking a night off).

We had another great night last Friday at Geeks Cafe, raising awareness and donations for Book Buddies, an initiative of San Antonio Youth Literacy. They provide books to kids who may not otherwise have a book for the summer.  We had about 40 people come for the games, and they brought over 400 books!

We also learned about the importance of children’s literacy from the Book Buddies volunteer Kathy McPherson. She shared some stats about how important literacy is, especially for elementary school kids that are the focus of their program. Reading is so important for kids to succeed in school, and many households have few, if any, books. Getting books into the hands of children is a good way to help them out.

Kathy also really had fun with the games, and we enjoyed welcoming new gamers to the event (Special thanks to Veronica for sharing Smash Up!)

We’re looking forward to our June events to benefit the Texas Burn Survivors Society’s Camp David for pediatric burn survivors.

Wait, did I say “events”?¬† Yes, we’re having a second event in June: in addition to our regular 2nd Friday event at Geeks Cafe on June 10th at 7 PM, we’re also having an event on June 26th from 2-10 PM at Knight Watch Games!¬† The afternoon time gives more time for games and is easier to bring the kids.

See you there!

 

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May Event for Literacy2016-11-25T10:59:33-06:00

International Tabletop Day and Updates

Apologies for my absence from this blog lately, I started a new job and things have been super-crazy!

To start, here are some pics from International Tabletop Day. It was great to meet so many new people and see so many old friends. We collected some books ahead of tomorrow’s Nerd Night, and Kelly, Nathan and I handed out¬†about 100 postcards to¬†attendees. We had about 150 people at ITTD, so congrats to GaMExpo on a very successful day! The space at Wonderland of the Americas is¬†huge, and that’s definitely something to keep in mind for future events.

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Giant GaMExpo game library!

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Silent auction. All proceeds to benefit San Antonio Youth Literacy!

 

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Knight Watch Games was one of the vendors.

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Childs Play

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Alamo City Fleet Command

As I mentioned, tomorrow is Nerd Night. We’re hoping for a huge turnout to support Book Buddies and San Antonio Youth Literacy. Pick up a kids book (here’s a link if you need ideas) and come play games with us at Geeks Cafe from 7-midnight. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend this month (*ahem* The Cure live in Austin! *ahem*), but I am leaving you all in the capable hands of Lisa, Keller and Nathan. I know it’s going to be a great night.

Lastly, our big news this month: San Antonio Nerd Night, Inc. is now a registered 501(c)(3) public charity! This means all donations are tax-deductible, among other benefits. Thanks again to everyone who contributed to our fundraiser to make this happen – you can now deduct that contribution from your 2016 tax return!

International Tabletop Day and Updates2016-11-25T10:59:33-06:00

The Big Give

Today’s a big day! The Big Give S.A.¬†is all day today, May 3. For those who may not be familiar, The Big Give S.A. is a 24-hour day of giving. It’s organized by the Texas Nonprofit Council and the San Antonio Area Foundation, with the support of the New Braunfels Community Center and the Community Foundation of the Texas Hill Country.

The Big Give S.A. launched in 2014 with a goal of raising $1 million in donations for local nonprofits. They exceeded that goal, with $2 million in donations raised.

In 2015, The Big Give S.A. expanded to include the 11 surrounding counties and doubled the goal, increasing it to $4 million. Again, it was exceeded, raising over $4.3 million raised for local nonprofit organizations.

The goal this year is $6 million, and all the nonprofits we have helped in this past year or will help later this year are fundraising extra-hard today! Many are participating in special events all day. Here are their Big Give links. If a particular organization over the last year was special to you, or if one of our upcoming nonprofit partners has a special place in your heart, please give and GIVE BIG!

Elf Louise (November 2015/16)

San Antonio Food Bank (December 2015/16)

Family Violence Prevention Services (January 2016)

SAMMinistries (February 2016/July 2016)

Animal Defense League (March 2016)

San Antonio AIDS Foundation (April 2016)

San Antonio Youth Literacy (May 2016)

Texas Burn Survivor Society (June 2016)

The Rape Crisis Center (August 2016)

Texas Diaper Bank (October 2016)

For any questions about The Big Give S.A., you may reach a Big Give team member at 210.774.GIVE.

The Big Give2016-05-15T09:22:06-06:00

April Wrap-Up; Big News!

So I’m waaaaaaaay late with my April wrap-up post, apologies. It’s been a hectic few weeks. We had a successful evening a couple of weeks ago, you guys outdid yourselves with the donations once again. It’s very much appreciated.

I think we’ve finally figured out the right way to seat people at Geeks Caf√©, so our overcrowding issues should be much alleviated. If that kept anyone away this last time, please come out and see us in May. I promise it will be better. We’re making much better use of the space, and we’ve obtained more chairs and tables. Thank you to Geeks Caf√© for being such a great partner for this event every month. You guys are amazing.

Some pictures from the night… Not as many as usual due to operator (me) error:

Samantha, Sean and Stephanie playing Evolution

Samantha, Sean and Stephanie playing Evolution

Game Library

Game Library

Name Tags!

Name Tags!

 

SAAF Nerd Night Donations

Judy from SAAF posing Vanna-style with the donations table.

Our Big News

The 501(c)(3) is FILED! Hopefully our application will sail through in ways that defy everything any of us know about the IRS and we’ll have some good news to report on that front soon.

Also Very Big News

In June, we will begin hosting a second monthly event. This event will be a Sunday afternoon/evening version of Nerd Night, and we will have date, location, and all that good stuff ready to announce at the beginning of May.

Other (less, but no less awesome) Big News

We had our quarterly board meeting last weekend, and boy, are you guys going to be excited when some of the things we’re planning are ready to be made public! We’ve just about finalized the rest of the year’s partner organizations, and I think you guys will really be able to get behind all of these groups. We’re thrilled to be hosting book drives for Book Buddies at both of our next events (International Tabletop Day at Wonderland Mall and May Nerd Night), and I will be updating our calendar here to reflect all the groups we’ve made arrangements with through the end of the year. Some new faces, some old ones that we just enjoyed a heck of a lot.

As always, I want to express my gratitude for the support and generosity that you all have shown at every single Nerd Night event so far. None of this would be possible without all of you. Hope to see everyone at ITTD at Wonderland Mall on April 30th! Come on out and support a pile of local gaming organizations at the largest local ITTD event!

April Wrap-Up; Big News!2016-11-25T10:59:33-06:00

March Nerd Night Wrap-Up

Going to the Dogs

Hello again! Thank you to everyone for a super successful March Nerd Night. We gathered a ton of things for the Animal Defense League and I delivered them earlier this week. They were over the moon about the quantity of items. It’s always a good feeling when I drop off the donations, so thanks to all of you for a bright spot in my Monday.

Animal Defense League Donations

A note¬†on Nerd Nights going forward. We know we were overcrowded, and we’re working with Geeks Cafe on a way to alleviate that – new table layouts, more chairs, maybe moving the sofas somewhere… long story short we know it was hard to move around and we want you guys to have a comfortable place to game, so we’ll work on it for next time!

Speaking of next time

April’s charity is the San Antonio AIDS Foundation. Spotlight to come soon. The date is April 8th. We’ll be gathering items for clients¬†of their housing and hospice programs.

Our next event, though, is ReDo Recess at the DoSeum. I’m looking for a few people to come with us and hand out postcards, talk about Nerd Night, and help out with staffing their event. You’ll get a free ticket to Recess (which is a lot of fun) and also I’ll be decking you out in a fabulous Nerd Night polo that you can wear to future events! If you’re interested drop me a line (steph@sanerdnight.org) ASAP please.

Who knew you all were so photogenic?

Thanks to Lene Griego of Master Photography by LG for graciously sharing her photos of the event with me! So much nicer than my camera phone pictures.

Don Jennings - Animal Defense League - Master Photography by LG

Don Jennings from the Animal Defense League speaks about their mission.

March Nerd Night - Master Photography by LG

Don Williams - Animal Defense League - Master Photography by LG

Childs Play March Nerd Night - Master Photography by LG

Childs Play had their mobile store at the event.

March Nerd Night - Master Photography by LG

March Nerd Night - Master Photography by LG

March Nerd Night - Master Photography by LG

Geek Out SA March Nerd Night - Master Photography by LG

Geek Out SA doing that podcast thing they do.

March Nerd Night - Master Photography by LG

This game involved donuts, I’m told. And there’s a kickstarter? Someone give me links.

March Nerd Night - Master Photography by LG

March Nerd Night - Master Photography by LG

March Nerd Night - Master Photography by LG

Red Star Gaming March Nerd Night - Master Photography by LG

Red Star Gaming

March Nerd Night - Master Photography by LG

March Nerd Night Wrap-Up2016-11-25T10:59:34-06:00

Crowdfunding, Nerd Night Updates

Hey nerds!

It’s been a while since my last post. Things have been busy at Nerd Night HQ, aka my house, and I figured it was time for a quick update.

Last month, five of your fellow Nerd Nighters and I gathered at my house and formed San Antonio Nerd Night, Inc. We’re now an official nonprofit corporation, registered with the state of Texas. We’re a board of six, and I’ll get some information up about the board soon once we determine how that’s going to be put out there. Our first order of business is obtaining our 501(c)(3) status, which is expensive and involves a lot of forms, like anything the federal government, and especially the IRS, is in charge of – so that’s quite an undertaking. To that end, we’re raising money on Crowdrise. You might have seen my posts on Facebook or Twitter about this, and I’ll speak on it more at Nerd Night on Friday, but the short version is that we need several hundred dollars for the application and I’m not able to front it myself. Thus, the wonderful world of crowdfunding. If everyone gives a little, we’ll have what we need in no time.

Nerd Night is¬†this Friday! Join us at Geeks Cafe on Babcock and bring an item (or two or ten) to support the Animal Defense League of Texas. The donation wish list is available at this event link and there’s sure to be something there you can find easily at a store near you. We’ll have a guest speaker from ADL and her canine friend.

Joining us on Friday will be Childs’ Play Games & Geekery, a mobile game store run by Sarah Childs and based in New Braunfels. She is graciously donating a portion of all game sales to the ADL, so if you play a game you especially enjoy, see if she has a copy with her! They also offer local free delivery to the San Antonio area.

Speaking of generous Nerd Night partners, Geeks Cafe will be donating a portion of all food sales on Friday night as well. Do we have the best friends or what?

See you all on Friday night!

Crowdfunding, Nerd Night Updates2016-03-09T10:37:43-06:00

February Nerd Night Wrap Up

So, I know I say this almost every post, but…

You. Guys. Are. Awesome.

I won’t lie, I was worried about the venue change and all of you making the move to another part of town. But wow, did you all prove that I worry a lot over nothing! We had FIFTY happy game-playing nerds at Geeks Cafe on Friday, and you all collected an amazing amount of STUFF for SAMMinistries. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

February Nerd Night

February Nerd Night

 

February Nerd Night - Nathan's Room

Nathan’s Room

 

February Nerd Night - Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride

 

February Nerd Night - Paulina, Kelly & Shane

Paulina, Kelly & Shane

 

February Nerd Night - Keller, Aiden and friend

Keller

 

February Nerd Night - Vince

Vince

 

February Nerd Night - Winner!

Winner!

 

Melanie from SAMMinistries speaking to the group

Melanie from SAMMinistries speaking to the group

Anyway. Apologies for some of these blurry pictures, I’m apparently challenged when I don’t have a flash.

Our next Nerd Night is scheduled for March 11 and will again be at Geeks Cafe. We’re collecting items for the Animal Defense League of Texas. I will post a spotlight article¬†very soon with details about what items they are in need of to take care of all the pups and kitties that are lucky enough to end up in this no-kill shelter.

Shameless plug time!

Art by Freddy Gonzalez

Art by Freddy Gonzalez

This fabulous piece of art has been donated to help raise money for SAMMinistries. Colleen and Vince of GaMExpo and Geek Out SA are handling a silent auction. Starting bid is $100. Get on over to their Facebook page and make a bid, y’all!

Speaking of Geek Out SA…

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Nathan and I stopped by to plug Nerd Night and talk about all things geeky. Give it a watch!

 

February Nerd Night Wrap Up2016-11-25T10:59:36-06:00

Charity Spotlight: SAMMinistries

About SAMMinistries

SAMMinistries is an interfaith ministry whose mission is to help the homeless and those at risk of becoming homeless attain self-sufficiency by offering, with dignity and compassion, shelter, housing, and services. Since 2008, SAMM has prevented 20,000 San Antonians from entering homelessness. Each night, SAMM offers 350 families a place to call home. In 2014, 98% of the families served through SAMM’s Homeless Prevention Program remained out of homelessness after 18 months.

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Homelessness in the SA Metro Area

Homelessness is a real problem in San Antonio and its surrounding communities. We will get a new survey later this month to count current homeless, but 2015 numbers are available from SARAH, the South Alamo Regional Alliance for the Homeless. In 2015, there were 2,891 homeless individuals counted at the Point-In-Time (PIT) Count. The PIT Count is required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and is used in determining federal funding for San Antonio’s homeless programs. 546 of these were children (average age of 6) and 309 of these were veterans. This total number has been largely steady for the last three years (2,892 in 2014 and 2,980 in 2013). SAMMinistries estimates the current San Antonio homeless population at approximately 3,211.

While 3,211 may not seem like a very large number in a city with a population of 1.4 million, the reality is that nearly 50% of San Antonio’s population is living with no savings, which puts them at a high risk of becoming homeless if they experience a loss of income. More than half of all homeless individuals in San Antonio cite a loss of income as their reason for homelessness, and affordable housing is the most requested service by homeless individuals in San Antonio.

SAMMinistries offers the following services:

  • Homeless Prevention: Providing rental assistance, utility assistance and supportive services to enable individuals, families, veterans and seniors who are in imminent danger of eviction avoid homelessness.
  • Transitional Housing: SAMMinistries offers 65 families transitional housing through individual homes in San Antonio, as well as the Transitional Living and Learning Center (TLLC). The Transitional Housing program provides housing, support and resources to families who show a commitment to gaining self-sufficiency. The individual needs of all family members are supported for a two-year period, promoting the viability of the family as a whole while they transition out of homelessness.
  • Rapid Re-Housing: The Rapid Re-Housing program reduces the amount of time a family experiences homelessness and rapidly re-houses families into permanent, affordable homes. Financial assistance is provided for up to 3 months along with 12 months of case management.
  • Permanent Supportive Housing: Permanent Supportive Housing assists and empowers families to live as independently as possible. SAMMinistries has a permanent housing program that assists families with whom one member of the family has a disability. SAMMinistries also manages 100 set-aside housing vouchers to help families find permanent housing in the private rental market.
  • Supportive Services: In order to serve their clients and the community holistically, SAMMinistries offers supportive services to all program participants to support them spiritually, mentally and physically. These services include spiritual services, educational assistance, wellness classes and employment development.

What are we doing to help?

February Nerd Night on February 12th¬†will specifically be targeting item collection for ‚ÄúWelcome Baskets,‚ÄĚ given to each family as they enter SAMMinistries‚Äô Transitional Housing program. These baskets give families much-needed household goods as they begin their journey to self-sufficiency. We will collect the following items at Nerd Night and deliver them to SAMM‚Äôs donation center.

FAMILY MEALTIME

Dish Sets & Large Plastic Cups
Flatware Sets
Pots & Pans
Cooking Tools (ex: wooden spoons)
Oven Mitts & Pot Holders

LINENS

Sheet Sets: Twin & Full
Crib Sheets
Comforters: Twin & Full
Towel Sets: Bath, Hand & Washcloths

CLEANING SUPPLIES

Buckets & Sponge Mops
All-Purpose Cleaner
Antibacterial Wipes & Bleach
Brooms & Dustpans
Dish Detergent
Toilet Brushes & Toilet Cleaner

HOUSEHOLD GOODS

Garbage Cans & Trash Bags, 13-gallon
Laundry Detergent
Laundry Baskets

 

Charity Spotlight: SAMMinistries2016-11-25T10:59:38-06:00
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