Club Penguin does good stuff. Yes, the game is lots of fun. Yes, their proprietary safety system creates a world that puts parents at ease. Yes, it allows for the development of important social skills that children can adopt at their own level of comfort. Yes, yes, and yes. Club Penguin is awesome.
And yet there is something else about Club Penguin that really sets them apart from the rest of the Internet waterfowl: Coins for Change.
Coins for Change is Club Penguin’s annual fundraiser. It encourages kids to play online games and donate the virtual coins that they acquire to support real-world charities. There are 10 projects in total, and together they will share a $1M donation to provide medical assistance, build safe places, and protect the planet.
Some of the charitable projects that kids will fund this year include:
- Toys and warm coats for kids in the United States
- A Clean water project for a community in Ecuador
- Club Penguin hospital packages for kids around the world
- Penguin nesting grounds in Argentina
- Andean Cat and Golden Woolly Monkey habitat protection in Peru, Argentina, Chile and Bolivia.
- The construction of an elementary school and education support programs for women and children in Africa
- Painted dog and lion habitat protection
- Protected areas for the snow leopard and saiga antelope
- Ten new libraries in Ethiopia and five reading spaces for kids in India
- New hospital wing to keep babies and mothers healthy in Malawi
2013 marks the seventh annual Coins for Change, and through its charitable programs Club Penguin has given $10M to worldwide charities, and in doing so helping to raise the social consciousness of more than 200 million players. It is that dedication to social awareness, empathy, and global citizenship that puts Club Penguin on a pedestal far above any other online community. And I mean that.
Results from previous years have helped over one million people in more than 42 countries by funding projects such as:
- 22 schools built for over 20,000 children
- 40 school libraries built for over 50,000 children
- 33 playgrounds for over 85,000 children
- 35 clean water projects for over 55,000 children & families
- Youth engagement & education programs around the world for over 1,000,000 children & families
The coins may be virtual, but the good is very, very real.
“Club Penguin is about community and Coins for Change has become an important program for teaching kids how the Internet can help communities around the world,” said Chris Heatherly, head of Club Penguin. “Kids have an enormous capacity for good and Coins for Change empowers them to make a difference in the lives of millions by working together.”
Club Penguin’s Coin for Change starts today and runs through January 1, 2014. As of this posting players have already donated 5 billion coins. That’s change we can all believe in.