MSN Shopping Becomes Flagship Sponsor of Volunteers of America’s Sidewalk Santa Program

REDMOND, Wash., Nov. 20, 2003 — The MSN®
network of Internet services today announced that its shopping site will become a flagship sponsor of Volunteers of America’s Sidewalk Santa program. MSN Shopping ( ) will donate 25 cents to the organization for each search performed on the site this holiday season.

Online spending is expected to increase 20 percent to 25 percent this year, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. In light of this trend, MSN will contribute up to $25,000 to Sidewalk Santas to help make up for donations that may be lost from people who shop online instead of going to the mall. The money will be used to support Volunteers of America’s Hope and Hearth food voucher program, which helps provide food to individuals and families in need.

“We’re thrilled that MSN Shopping has agreed to be a flagship sponsor of our Sidewalk Santa program,” said Richard Salyer, president and CEO of Volunteers of America of Greater New York. “Thanks to the generosity of MSN and its customers, we’ll be able to help thousands of hungry families put food on their tables this holiday season.”

In addition to its donation, MSN Shopping will offer links that allow customers to donate money to Volunteers of America.

“More than ever, people are avoiding long lines, stress and traffic jams by doing their holiday shopping online,” said Christine Andrews, product manager at MSN for Microsoft Corp. “We’re delighted to help make sure that Volunteers of America benefits from shoppers making this choice.”

Volunteers of America’s Sidewalk Santa program will officially launch Friday, Nov. 28, the day after Thanksgiving. To prepare for the kickoff, the Santas will attend Santa School Thursday, Nov. 20, at Volunteers of America’s New York headquarters, where they’ll receive instructions on Santa do’s and don’ts and will take a special class from MSN Shopping guru and celebrity fashion stylist Wayne Scot Lukas about how to dress for the season.

Lukas, premiere season host of TLC’s “What Not To Wear,” will provide exclusive content on MSN Shopping, including a holiday gift guide, answers to shopping questions, and advice on how to shop for different personality types based on his past and current celebrity clients.

About Volunteers of America

Volunteers of America is dedicated to restoring hope, dignity and self-reliance to individuals and families in crisis or distress. Founded in New York City more than 100 years ago, the agency provides help to those in need while creating opportunities for people to serve others. More than 55 programs in the metropolitan New York area serve homeless individuals and families, troubled youth, people living with AIDS and their families, people with mental illness or substance dependencies, criminal offenders rejoining society, and adults and children with developmental disabilities.

About MSN

MSN attracts more than 350 million unique users worldwide per month. With localized versions available globally in 34 markets and 18 languages, MSN is a world leader in delivering Web services to consumers and ad sales to businesses worldwide. MSN 8 is the first Internet software product to have earned the trusted Good Housekeeping Seal. The most useful and innovative online service today, MSN brings consumers everything they need from the Web to make the most of their time online. MSN is located on the Web at . MSN worldwide sites are located at .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft and MSN are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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