KELOWNA, British Columbia — Children who visit the snow-covered virtual world of Club Penguin can put the time they spend online to better use than ever this holiday season thanks to a unique giving program that launches this week.
The third annual Coins for Change campaign, which runs from December 11-21, 2009, allows the children who visit Club Penguin to donate the virtual coins they earn playing games in the virtual world to support a cause that matters to them.
Players can choose to support kids who are sick, kids who are poor or the environment. At the end of the campaign, the players’ donations serve as votes to determine how a $1M contribution will be divided to fund projects being conducted by charitable organizations selected by Disney Online Studios Canada.
“Since we launched Coins for Change in 2007, we’ve been blown away by the passion our players display for getting involved and doing their part to affect change and make the world a better place,” says Lane Merrifield, one of Club Penguin’s co-founders and executive vice president of Disney Online Studios Canada and Disney Online. “With millions of children and families in more than 190 countries now enjoying Club Penguin in English, Portuguese, French and Spanish, I think our audience will embrace the opportunity to make a difference through Coins for Change this year like never before.”
Players can donate virtual coins at multiple locations around the island of Club Penguin. For the first time this year they can also place a personal donation booth in their virtual igloo and host fundraising parties for their penguin friends, or attend benefit concerts at the Lighthouse. In addition, this year’s campaign will include suggestions on things children can do in their own communities to help others.
“With so many kids from around the world playing on Club Penguin, we want to continue to encourage that sense of community online and offline, and really get them thinking about their role as true global citizens who have the power to help others both where they live and around the world,” adds Merrifield.
Club Penguin is one of the largest and fastest-growing virtual worlds for children with a reputation for providing fun for kids and peace of mind for parents. 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 special features such as front-of-the-line access to game features, exclusive parties and opportunities to customize your penguin and igloo require a membership.