Pint-sized Club Penguin habitues tapped for virtual charity

December 10, 2008

Is it really giving if the money you’re shelling out for charity isn’t real? The 6- to 14-year-olds that Disney is targeting in a Dec. 12-22 charity drive on its social networking Club Penguin Web site probably would answer an emphatic “Yes!” to that existential poser.

That’s because donating the make-believe coins they earn playing games on Club Penguin to charities like the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and the World Wildlife Fund — two beneficiaries of past penguin largesse — means less “money” to spend in the snowy virtual world on rugs and armchairs for their igloos, or hairdos and clothes for their penguins. Talk about a painful choice!

Kids who donate will actually be voting on which of three real-world causes to support, and their giving will determine how the New Horizon Foundation, whose principals started Club Penguin, splits up a $1 million donation to charities that represent those causes. During last year’s 10-day campaign, 2.5 million kids ponied up more than 2 billion virtual coins to help other children around the world, New Horizon’s Lane Merrifield said.

This year’s campaign — at the height of a real-world global recession — could show whether Disney’s message that  “It’s a Small World” — the one that sticks in parkgoers’ heads for days — is getting through.


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I think its a brilliant way of getting kids aware of issues that need attention and giving them the power to help those problems right now. nothing gives kids more pleasure than being able help someone else by giving something away….John/Tokyo

Posted by John Sanders | Report as abusive

I am a fan of Club Penguin and plan to give a 1000 coins to the charity so that lots of money can be donated.
Theo, age 6

Posted by Theo Baum | Report as abusive