Record numbers of children donated virtual coins they earned playing games in the popular virtual world of Club Penguin this holiday to support charities working to improve the lives of kids and families around the globe.
The third annual Coins for Change campaign, conducted from December 11 to 21, 2009, allowed children who visited Club Penguin to help change the world by contributing to help kids who are sick, kids who are poor or the environment. The players’ donations served as votes to determine how a $1 million cash contribution would be divided amongst charitable projects in the real world.
Thanks to more than 2.9 million players who donated in excess of four billion virtual coins, Club Penguin will donate:
- $165,000 to a nutrition program to feed thousands of malnourished and at-risk children in Haiti (conducted by Partners In Health);
- $165,000 to a peace centre to educate 20,000 young children displaced by war and conflict in Sri Lanka (conducted by War Child);
- $157,500 to critical health care and treatment programs for impoverished children in Haiti (conducted by Partners In Health);
- $157,500 to build a health clinic in Kenya (conducted by Free The Children);
- $177,500 for programs to inspire kids to protect coral reefs in Indonesia, wetlands in China, and forests in South America; critical habitats for sea turtles, orangutans and other endangered species (conducted by Rare); and
- $177,500 to support scholarships and educational programs focused on protecting the African wild dog, the elephant and the snow leopard (conducted by Wildlife Conservation Network).
“We value social involvement and encourage our global community of players to do their part to make the world a better place,” says Lane Merrifield, co-founder of Club Penguin and executive vice president of Disney Online Studios. “Kids need to know they have the power to make a difference, whether it’s by participating in Coins for Change, raising money for a great cause or just doing something nice for their neighbor down the street.”
In an effort to extend the spirit of giving beyond Coins for Change and the holiday season, Club Penguin is challenging its players to do even more to help change the world. Club Penguin has announced it will support kids or schools that want to help a village in one of the world’s poorest regions by matching the money they raise up to $5,000. Club Penguin is also sponsoring a free speaking tour and leadership program for elementary school students.
Club Penguin is one of the largest and fastest-growing virtual worlds for kids. Word filters and live moderators monitor chat and activity on the site and work to prevent the sharing of inappropriate or personally identifiable information. Club Penguin is free to play, however paying members receive special benefits. A portion of the proceeds from each membership supports organizations working to improve the lives of children and families around the world.