“We believe kids today are looking for ways they can help others and make a difference”
Between December 10th and 24th, more than 2.5 million people participated in the Coins for Change campaign, donating in excess of two billion virtual coins earned by playing games on the popular children’s website.
By choosing to support either the environment, children’s health or children in developing countries the kids determined how much of a total $1 million cash donation will now be allocated to three organizations chosen to represent those areas.
“We knew the kids would rally behind the Coins for Change project but we’re still blown away by the results,” says Lane Merrifield of Club Penguin.
As a direct result of how much support it received from the children during the 10-day online giving campaign, The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, which works to prevent pediatric HIV infection and to eradicate AIDS in children around the world, will receive $394,000. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) will receive $330,000 towards its efforts to protect the planet and help build a future where people live in harmony with nature while $276,000 will go to Free The Children, whose primary goals are to free children from poverty and exploitation and free young people from the notion they are powerless to affect positive change.
The New Horizon Foundation, a charitable organization started by Club Penguin’s three founders, is funding the $1 million contribution.
“We believe kids today are looking for ways they can help others and make a difference,” says Merrifield. “Encouraging that spirit of giving and social responsibility is really important to us and we thought Coins for Change would be a unique way to accomplish that within the Club Penguin world.”
Club Penguin is a virtual land of ice and snow where users play games and hang out with friends in the guise of colorful, penguin avatars. Club Penguin is designed for 6 to 14-year-olds but is open to all ages. The site is free to use and enjoy but subscribing members receive added benefits and features.
Club Penguin optimizes the safety of its online environment through the use of powerful filtering and live moderators to monitor chat and activity on the site and prevent the sharing of inappropriate or personally identifiable information. The site also maintains a strict no-advertising policy.