Coronavirus: Florida nonprofit hosts virtual Bingo games

Coronavirus: Florida nonprofit hosts virtual Bingo games
A Florida nonprofit is offering online Bingo games three nights a week. (. Armstrong Roberts/Retrofile/Getty Images)

RUSKIN, Fla. — This is not your grandma’s Bingo.

A Florida nonprofit, looking for ways to keep citizens amused during the coronavirus pandemic, has introduced online Bingo games three times a week, Bay News 9 reported.

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My Warrior’s Place, located southeast of Tampa in Ruskin. hosts virtual Bingo games on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday nights beginning at 7:45. The games are played on Facebook Live through at least May 30, The Observer News reported. Two games are played each night, and winners get their choice of gift cards from area residents, the newspaper reported.

People who donate $20 get one Bingo card emailed to them, good for the rest of April. A $30 donation gives a contestant three cards. If the game continues into May, another $20 or $30 donation is required, The Observer News reported.

It’s fun, competitive and adheres to social distancing protocols.

It also was born out of a joke.

“We were just tossing around ideas and somebody joked, ‘I bet there’s a lot of people missing playing Bingo right now,'" Kelly Kowall, founder and president of My Warrior’s Place, told Bay News 9. “Because we have a lot of retirement communities in the area, and that’s kind of how it got started.”

The purpose of My Warrior’s Place, according to its website, is “to honor, support and promote healing of the mind and spirit” by giving veterans, first responders, firefighters, law enforcement officials and their families a “relaxed setting” and special programs.

The retreat is closed now due to the pandemic, Kowall said the Bingo contests are a way to relieve boredom for people shuttered at home.

“I would encourage people to do it for three good reasons," Kowall told Bay News 9. “One, it gives you something to do three nights a week instead of just sitting there just doing nothing. Two, it helps to support our restaurants. And three, any funds left over from buying the gift certificates support My Warrior’s Place.”

The games are open to all. To play or donate, visit www.mwp4me.org or www.mywarriorsplace.org.