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Giving Machines back for a third year, in more locations

A girl looks at the many options available for purchase in a Giving Machine in Gilbert, Arizona. Gilbert is one of the 10 locations this year where donations can be made during the Christmas season. (Photo Church Newsroom | Intellectual Reserve)

SALT LAKE CITY — For the third year, the popular “Giving Machines” sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will appear in downtown Salt Lake City.

And this year, they are also at University Place Mall in Orem, as officials from The Church say they’ll provide the machines in even more locations. It’s part of the Church’s annual #LightTheWorld Campaign.

You can’t miss them.  As shown in the video below, they are large red vending machines. But what you are buying is much more than the typical vending machine fare.

On Monday, inside the lobby of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, Young Women General President Sister Bonnie H. Cordon demonstrated how the machines work.

She also highlighted how to pick several items or services with just one transaction.

And she said that using these big red boxes is a very tangible way to serve.

“They can have instant acts of services. That’s helpful for children to see, and our youth. And I’m amazed at how the youth are leaders in this cause,” she said.

In addition to the Giving Machine on Temple Square, The Church announced that there will be 9 other locations around the world where these boxes will be showing up including Orem, Las Vegas, Gilbert, Arizona; Denver, Colorado; San Jose, California; New York City, Manila, Oahu and London.

The Church has partnered with global charities like UNICEF, WaterAid, and the International Medical Corps. The Church says that 100% of the donations that are collected will go to those charities.

Rev. Rebekah Belase with Church World Service came from Oklahoma for the demonstration on Temple Square in Salt Lake City. Her organization is one of the partner charities at six of the new locations of the Giving Machine.

“Here you can buy chickens, you can buy sheep, you can buy an acre of sweet potatoes that could provide a livelihood for a family in Kenya,” she said.

“You can also buy nutrition to help feed young children in those first 15 months of life.”

It’s opportunities like this that Sister Cordon says she is excited about.

“These Giving Machines are an example of the big things that can happen when many people give just a little,” added Sister Cordon.

“That is what it means to Light the World one by one—when we each give what we can offer, our little light adds to a brightness of hope.”

Last year people gave $2.3 million dollars in services and items.


(Simone Seikaly and Colby Walker contributed to this story.)