‘Light The World’ Campaign Adds More Charity Vending Machines

Nov 25, 2019, 10:15 PM

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Vending machines that provide food, clothing, eyeglasses and even chickens to people in need are back as part of the “Light the World” campaign from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Five bright-red Giving Machines were unveiled in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building lobby Monday, and another group will be placed at University Mall in Orem.

These machines will open on Tuesday and will be available through January 1, 2020.

Participants choose one or several items and push a few buttons for a meal or some chickens or a soccer ball for someone in need.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints takes care of the operating costs, and in a few months, delivers checks to the charities who deliver the goods in the United States or somewhere else in the world.

“Light the World” means charity at home and abroad, according to Young Women General President Sister Bonnie Cordon.

“These first three, I noticed, are ones locally,” she said. “Local charities are going to bless those right here in Utah.”

Cordon said she has witnessed groups of young people who have combined their funds to make joint donations.

This year, Giving Machines were placed in 10 cities – Salt Lake City and Orem in Utah, along with cities in Colorado, Arizona, Nevada, California, New York and Hawaii. Machines were also placed internationally in London and Manila.

Before you give, individually or as a family, Sister Cordon said it only takes a minute to do a little research.

“We can go to lighttheworld.org, look on there for the Giving Machines, and then you can actually read about each one of the charities,” she said.

The charities that receive the donations said the vending machines are successful because people are affected by what they give.

Nine-year-old Ethan Gonzalez, from Washington, came to Utah to visit his grandparents and said he just wanted to help someone.

“So, today, I got three chickens because I just really like animals,” he said.

Jack Hildebrand came from UNICEF’s Northwest Regional Office. The charity was happy to participate after receiving donations last Christmas season.

He said it’s a “feel-good” moment when people, particularly children, can see what they are giving.

“It becomes really meaningful for them, and, of course, has a huge impact on children all over the world,” Hildebrand said.

Some of the charitable organizations that distribute these donations throughout Utah or throughout the world are new to the “Light the World” campaign this year.

Rev. Rebekah Belase of Church World Service came from Indiana and said the churches who are part of her charity are thrilled to be participating because it will help many. Her group has associated with Latter-day Saint Charities to help refugees.

“Through our organization, the impact could be livelihood, through the purchase of a sheep or a chicken and hens,” Belase said. “Also livelihood, protein and nutrition for families that are maybe in a dry period or season.”

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‘Light The World’ Campaign Adds More Charity Vending Machines