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BELLEVUE, Wash. -- Coinstar, Inc., this month crossed the $20 million mark in consumer coin donations to nonprofit organizations since its Coins That Count program started in 1997.
The donations were distributed among organizations such as The American Red Cross, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, The March of Dimes, The U.S. Fund for UNICEF, and The World Wildlife Fund. Most recently, Coinstar teamed up with The Ellen DeGeneres Show to raise funds for America's Second Harvest-The Nation's Food Bank Network, the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States. Each dollar donated will provide 16 meals to hungry Americans, according to Coinstar.
"Caring everyday is a core value that Coinstar has held from the beginning," said Alex Camara, s.v.p. and g.m. of worldwide coin. "The Coins that Count program is key in delivering that value. This program represents an ongoing relationship between Coinstar, the non-profit community, and our retail customers that is truly gratifying for us as a company."
Coinstar's donation program was first introduced in the greater Seattle area nine years ago and has grown from processing approximately $200,000 per year in 1997 to processing more than $4 million nationally in 2005. During this time, the Coinstar network has been used to raise funds for relief efforts in disasters such as 9/11, the 2004 Tsunami, and Hurricane Katrina.
In addition to turning coins into cash or gift cards, Coinstar Centers provide consumers with the option to donate their spare change to national non-profit organizations, as well as many local organizations. The donation feature is available on most of the more than 13,000 machines within the Coinstar network. To use the feature, consumers select the "donate" option at the beginning of the transaction and follow the on-screen prompts to select the non-profit organization of their choice from the list provided. Users then pour in their change, the machine counts the coins, and then provides a tax-deductible receipt for the full value of the donation.