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iZone International: Virtual spending for real charity

17-December-2010
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iZone International: Virtual spending for real charity

Disney’s Club Penguin has long been one of the largest online communities for children. The community is monitored without any encroachment on privacy to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for youngsters, and now, the virtual world is gearing up to make a change to the real one as well.

Children who access the website can help provide shelter to underprivileged kids around the world, providing them with safe places to live, learn and play as part of the fourth annual ‘Coins for Change’ event.

Club Penguin is a free to play online community, which is available in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese, without restrictions on the Internet. Restriction comes in the form of word filters and live monitoring to prevent children from being exposed to inappropriate content. Members of the site come from all around the world.

In Club Penguin, children earn virtual coins by playing games online. These coins can be donated as part of the Coins for Change programme, which allows the coins to be donated in the form of real relief from Disney Corporation to charities that the children making the donation can choose for themselves.

The children who are playing on Club Penguin can decide if their virtual wealth will be used to provide real medical help, or build homes or be used for environmental initiatives. The programme, which runs for 10 days – from December 17 to December 27 – will be the fourth such initiative on the part of Club Penguin, and the players’ donations will serve as votes to determine how a $1 million donation from Disney Online Studios will be spent.

“It’s incredible to witness the passion our players have for making a difference,” said Lane Merrifield, a co-founder of Club Penguin, adding, “The kids who play have already helped more than two million people get medical care, go to school, and helped protect more than a dozen endangered species and their habitats.”

 

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