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Kids encouraged to give to charity online

Charity donations from online kids' club

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Online kids club Club Penguin is encouraging players to embrace the true spirit of Christmas by allowing children to donate the virtual coins they collect to real charities.

The second annual Coins for Change campaign will run from 12 to 22 December 2008. During that 10-day period, the kids who play Club Penguin can choose to donate their virtual coins to one of three causes dedicated to helping children. At the end of the campaign, the donations will serve as votes which will help the New Horizon Foundation, an organization started by the founders of Club Penguin, determine what portion of a $1 million donation will go to charities selected by the Foundation to represent those causes.

‘Our hope is that Coins for Change helps children in the Club Penguin community understand there is more to life than just earning coins, and encourages them to make a difference in the lives of kids throughout the world,’ says Lane Merrifield. ‘Last year more than 2.5 million players donated in excess of two billion virtual coins.’

Club Penguin Coins for Change

In last year’s Coins for Change campaign, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation received $394,000, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) received $330,000 and $276,000 went to Free The Children.

‘It takes a lot of time and effort to accumulate coins playing Club Penguin and the fact that our players are so eager to put those coins toward helping other kids around the world says a lot about their desire to make a difference and their understanding of what it truly means to be part of a community,’ says Merrifield.

Results from Coins for Change 2008 will be announced on Christmas Day.

Club Penguin is a snow-covered virtual world where children can play games and hang out with friends. For more information see the Which? beginner’s guide to social networks

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