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i'm Initiative Participants Select UNICEF as Top Charity in First Year of Microsoft's Initiative
Date:4/15/2008

U.S. Fund for UNICEF nets $255K for Child Survival programming

NEW YORK, April 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Officials with the U.S. Fund for UNICEF celebrated the first anniversary of the i'm Initiative by announcing UNICEF's designation as the top charity selected by users of Windows Live Messenger which netted $255,000 for the international children's organization.

Twelve months ago Windows Live Messenger launched the i'm Initiative in Washington D.C. as a way to connect its customers to 10 of the world's most effective non-profit organizations dedicated to social causes. Every time a customer has a conversation using the instant messaging service, Microsoft shares a portion of the program's advertising revenue with the participating i'm Initiative organization of his or her choice.

"To say that technology has changed the face of philanthropic giving would be an understatement," said Caryl Stern, president and CEO, U.S. Fund for UNICEF. "We are extremely pleased to partner with Microsoft in this worthwhile initiative and look forward to participating for another year. Our heartfelt thanks go out to users of Windows Live Messenger for making UNICEF their Number One choice. They can feel confident that the money raised will help UNICEF do whatever it takes to save a child."

The i'm Initiative, which was designed to empower people to make a difference without spending a dime, has raised $1.3 million in total with the U.S. Fund for UNICEF receiving $255,000 for their life saving programs -- the most of all ten charities.

"The generous support and passion of our Windows Live Messenger customers participating in the i'm Initiative made it possible for us to donate $1.3 million to ten of the world's most reputable non-profit organizations," said Tara Kriese, senior product marketing manager at Microsoft. "We're honored that we can contribute to important social causes that positively impact people worldwide."

Other organizations participating in the i'm Initiative included: American Red Cross, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, The National AIDS Fund, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, NineMillion.org, The Sierra Club, Stopglobalwarming.org, Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the Humane Society of the United States.

Customers can participate in and learn more about the i'm Initiative by joining at http://im.live.com and downloading the latest version of Windows Live Messenger.

About UNICEF

For more than 60 years, UNICEF has been the world's leading international children's organization, working in over 150 countries to address the ongoing issues that affect why kids are dying. UNICEF provides lifesaving nutrition, clean water, education, protection and emergency response saving more young lives than any other humanitarian organization in the world. While millions of children die every year of preventable causes like dehydration, upper respiratory infections and measles, UNICEF, with the support of partnering organizations and donors alike, has the global experience, resources and reach to give children the best hope of survival. For more information about UNICEF, please visit http://www.unicefusa.org.


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SOURCE U.S. Fund for UNICEF
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