Kelowna – 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.
The Salvation Army Keeps Up With The Times
Toronto – This past weekend, at Santa Shuffle Runs in 35 cities nationwide, The Salvation Army announced the launch of a new text message giving program, offering donors a cash-free way to contribute to this year’s Christmas Campaign. For the first-time ever, Canadians can contribute a $5.00 donation to The Salvation Army by texting the word HOPE to 45678 from any Rogers Wireless or Bell Mobility phone. The proceeds of each text donation will support The Salvation Army’s year-round work to serve more than 1.5 million people with critical living needs.
“As the largest non-governmental direct provider of social services in Canada, we are thrilled to introduce text message donations as a way to give back,” said Graham Moore, Territorial Secretary for Public Relations and Development for The Salvation Army in Canada. “The mobile giving program was launched at our annual Santa Shuffle, in 35 cities across Canada.”
As demand for services increases, The Salvation Army has turned to innovative technology to encourage public fundraising. Donors can make contributions online or by hosting an individual iKettle. In just a few years, these virtual Christmas iKettles have become a popular way to collect donations online, raising more than $130,000 in 2008. The Salvation Army is also using social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to promote larger public awareness about Canada’s poor. The annual Christmas Campaign helps The Salvation Army provide direct, compassionate, hands-on service to millions in Canada each year, and it has grown to become one of the nation’s most significant and recognizable charitable events.
“Each year at Christmas, The Salvation Army uses new and emerging technologies to further its mission — to serve those most in need,” said Graham Moore. “Adapting mobile phone technology was the next logical step to make giving both simple and secure for our donors.”
Beginning in December, donors can text the word HOPE to 45678 to make incremental donations of $5.00 from a Rogers Wireless or Bell Mobility phone. Standard text messaging rates will apply. Donors will see the donation amount appear on their next mobile phone bill.
In addition to the text message donation program, contributions to the 2009 Christmas Campaign can be made at your local kettle, online, by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY (725-2769) or via mail to The Salvation Army, 2 Overlea Blvd, Toronto, ON M4H 1P4.
Mobile technology company Zipstripe partnered with The Salvation Army to provide this service.