More children around the world will soon have safe places to live, learn and play thanks in part to the support of kids who play in the popular snow-covered virtual world, Club Penguin (clubpenguin.com). The fourth annual Coins For Change event, conducted from December 17 to 27, 2010, allowed the children who play Club Penguin to help change the world by donating the virtual coins they earned playing games online to real world causes that matter to them.
It was particularly exciting this year to see even more kids from around the world rally together as part of Coins For Change
Kids could donate virtual coins to provide medical help, build safe places or protect the earth. At the end of the event, the virtual donations to the three cause categories served as votes to determine how a $1M cash contribution from Disney Online Studios would be divided among charitable projects aimed at helping children, families and the planet.
Thanks to more than 3.4 million players who donated in excess of 12.2 billion virtual coins, Disney Online Studios will donate:
- $290,000 USD to support medical clinics in Malawi and Lesotho, Africa (conducted by Partners in Health).
- $50,000 USD to fund operations for sick and disabled children in Cambodia (conducted by Children’s Surgical Centre).
- $75,000 USD to provide school programs for kids displaced by war in Sudan, Africa (conducted by War Child).
- $75,000 USD to protect children from violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (conducted by War Child).
- $150,000 USD to fund projects to provide water to communities in India (conducted by Free The Children).
- $180,000 USD to teach kids and families to care for watersheds and rainforests (conducted by Rare).
- $180,000 USD to protect endangered animals in Columbia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and the Andes Mountains (Conducted by Wildlife Conservation Network).
“Our players work hard to earn virtual coins on Club Penguin, but when a need is expressed they give freely and generously, and I’m always blown away by their passion for helping others and protecting the earth,” says Lane Merrifield, one of Club Penguin’s co-founders and executive vice president of Disney Online Studios. “It was particularly exciting this year to see even more kids from around the world rally together as part of Coins For Change.”
Club Penguin is one of the largest virtual worlds for children with a reputation for providing fun for kids and peace of mind for parents. Millions of children and families in more than 225 countries play Club Penguin in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese. 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. A portion of the proceeds from each membership purchased supports organizations working to improve the lives of children and families around the globe. In recent years, the kids who play Club Penguin have helped more than two million people get medical care, enabled 200,000 children to go to school and helped protect more than a dozen endangered species and their habitats.