MAY 5, 1997

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New technology converts coins to charitable giving

Coinstar Twenty-nine non-profit organizations have teamed up with Coinstar, Inc. to introduce Coins that Count, a new program that begins May 7. Coinstar, Inc. owns and operates a network of self-service coin-counting machines in supermarkets, such as the ones in Woodinville Stock Market and area QFCs.
   Now computerized messages on each Coinstar machine will prompt users to choose between donating their coins to a participating charitable organization, or making a personal coins to cash transaction. Once the donation feature is selected, the Coinstar machine will prompt users to enter a choice of which organization. The donor will then pour in the coins and the machine will count them and provide the donor with a tax-deductible receipt for the full value of the gift.
   It is estimated that Puget Sound area residents have approximately $67 million in coins sitting idle in their homes, and that more than $20,000 in coins are actually thrown away each day.
   "I am really committed to using Coinstar technology to connect with the community," said Jens Molbak, founder and CEO of Coinstar. "We want to demonstrate that this can work for our non-profit partners."
   Non-profit organizations participating in the Coins that Count program represent a cross-section of community interests including 501(c)(3) organizations benefiting the arts, environment, social services, medical research, and education.