Howie Mandel Announces New Charity and Gaming Project to Aid in the Fight Against Coronavirus
"Let's work, and play, together, while in self-isolation and keeping social distance," said Howie Mandel
Breakout the Masks will help provide N95 face masks, portable ventilators, gloves and other Personal Protective Equipment to doctors, nurses and more front line workers.
Working together with non-profit partner Direct Relief as well as ePlay, Mandel is also launching the first in a series of mobile app games, which will allow users to not only have fun while social distancing, but also help healthcare workers get the much-needed supplies.
The first challenge, an Outbreak mini-game — which is similar to Candy Crush, but with viruses and bacteria — launches on Friday, and will be available to play on the Apple App Store and Google Play. The game will also feature reactions from Mandel.
“I have spent most of my life in fear of a disease outbreak like COVID-19,” said Mandel, who is a known germaphobe. “Let’s work, and play, together, while in self-isolation and keeping social distance, to ensure front line workers — doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers — are safe, so that they can keep us safe.”
As the weeks go by, more and more mobile games will be released, all featuring Mandel — with each one getting progressively harder.
“Outbreak is the first in a series of game titles that draw attention to the COVID-19 outbreak and how most of us can contribute through self-isolation and social distancing,” said Trevor Doerksen, CEO of ePlay Digital and co-creator of Breakout the Masks. “We have been working with Howie Mandel since September on a series of titles based on his germaphobia. By building quarantine compatible games we hope we can help make families more comfortable and quarantine compatible too.”
Donations to the charity campaign can be made at www.howiesgames.com, and 100 percent of the money collected from the game and the weekly challenges will go to getting the supplies in the hands of those who need them the most.
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Mandel is also using his time in isolation to support local businesses and has teamed up with social retail platform talkshoplive to launch an initiative assisting small business owners in reaching customers, telling their story and selling their products during the COVID-19 pandemic.
”Whether it is your platform, whether it is your celebrity, whether it is just the luck of your health right now, whether it is access to a phone or whatever, I think that everybody has to reach out and do their part,” the Canadian comedian, 64, previously told PEOPLE.
A portion of all proceeds from the campaign will be donated to No Kid Hungry.
As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. To help provide doctors and nurses on the front lines with life-saving medical resources, donate to Direct Relief here.