With Zynga’s continued efforts to help the children of Haiti, they have launched their biggest promotion in FarmVille yet – one that will see the game’s community working to send hundreds of millions of virtual school supplies to one another, all in the hopes of reaching Zynga’s goal, triggering a large donation on the developer’s part.
The event works like the other collection events we’ve seen in the past (Valentine’s Day, the Tuscan Wedding, and so on), with users receiving a free Backpack the next time they log into the game. You can place your Backpack right away, or send it to your Gift Box for future use. Either way, once you start the event, you’ll be able to post a news item to your wall allowing your friends to see that you are doing your part to collect school supplies, so that they may send you some as well.
From there, the event takes much the same path as all of the others. You’ll be able to look inside your Backpack at any time to see how many School Supplies you have collected. Your backpack will start at the ranking of “Pre-School,” and the item itself will change and become more complex as you collect more books, along with your level raising, up to the level of collecting 150+ school supplies, which fills the meter seen below. You’ll pass through levels like Kindergarten and Grade School, as examples.
As you collect School Supplies, you’ll be able to turn those supplies in for various rewards. Collect 10 School Supplies, and you can redeem them for a Haiti Flag. You can redeem 20 School Supplies for the Schooled Ewe (a Sheep with a graduation cap on its head), or you can save up for the Student Gnome which costs 30 School Supplies. For 50 Supplies, you’ll earn the Tap Tap Bus, while at 75 Supplies, you’ll be able to redeem them for a School Seesaw, which has a pig on one seat and a duck on the other. Finally, if you can save up 150 School Supplies, you’ll be able to trade those in for a School House building, which is entirely different than the traditional Red and White School House that is already available in the game.
You’ll be able to earn School Supplies in a variety of ways. First and foremost, simply enter into your Backpack (click on it and click “Look Inside”), and you’ll be able to click on the “Ask for Supplies” button to send individual gift requests to any friend on your account. This will send them a reverse gift request, that will allow them to send you a School Supply, rather than you sending one to them. There is no bonus for acknowledging these requests this time around, unfortunately.
In addition, you can initiate the School Supply gifting by heading over to the game’s Free Gifts page, where you’ll see the School Supply available to send to your neighbors. This will allow your friends to immediately return the favor, if they click on the Send Back button upon accepting their gift.
Other ways of earning School Supplies are also available, but how successful they will be for you depends on how many neighbors you have, and how active they are. That is, at certain intervals in the collection process, you’ll be asked to post a few “freebies” to your wall in the form of a news post celebrating your progress. This will allow a few neighbors to click on a link rewarding them with a free School Supply.
Also, when you pass your friends in the total number of School Supplies collected, you’ll again be prompted to share a few free Supplies on your wall to celebrate your passing your friends total.
What makes this event different from all of the other item collection events is the prospect of a real-world change being triggered by our participation. If the entire FarmVille community (all 60 million+ players) sends 400,000,000 School Supplies (that’s 400 million), then Zynga will donate $100,000 to help build the School of Choice in Haiti, a school that is focused on providing education to those living under extreme poverty in Haiti.
So far, users have sent around 100 million gifts, so be sure to head over to FarmVille on Facebook in order to help do your part!
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